Wrestling with God

Wrestling with God

Loving the God We Don't Understand

by James Emery White

Wrestling with God
  • Length: 174 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: June 28, 2008
  •  Discontinued
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3363-4
  • Item Code: 3363
  • Case Quantity: 56

  • Recipient of a 2004 Award of Merit from Christianity Today (originally published as Embracing the Mysterious God)

We give ourselves to God and then struggle profoundly with the relationship.

We are drawn in and then want to flee in fear.

We move from faith to doubt, trust to confusion, intimacy to a feeling of abandonment.

Coming to faith is like falling in love. It can be a head-over-heels rush to the altar or a slow acceptance that slips into a heartfelt embrace. Either way, eventually romance crashes headlong into reality.

Often we make things worse either by feeling guilty about our struggles with doubt or by trying to dismiss them as unimportant or insignificant. We may even become resentful that God does not simply step in to clear up our confusion.

When we find ourselves in any of these predicaments, the only way out is to face our uncertainties about God--deliberately and directly.

In Wrestling with God James Emery White explores these struggles we all face--struggles of heart, soul, mind and strength. And struggles to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Here you will find your tough questions about God addressed. Better still, you will find the way to renewed faith.

"When we first come to faith, it is as if a light comes on. Everything seems so clear, clean, simple. Later, when we have to wrestle with disappointments with God, ourselves and others, we wonder what has happened. If Christ is 'the answer,' why do we have so many questions? Writing honestly out of his own experience, James Emery White helps us to see the paradox: that it is precisely in embracing the darkness--not avoiding it--that the light shines on! I recommend this book heartily. It will help us to know God more fully, understand and accept ourselves more realistically, and live our lives in Christ more authentically."

Leighton Ford, President, Leighton Ford Ministries

"Embracing the Mysterious God is relevant, fresh, honest and forthright. In this most readable book, James E. White wrestles with the mysteries of our great and majestic God with a remarkable sensitivity to the struggles and doubts of faithful Christ-followers and seekers as well. Those who read this book carefully and reflectively will indeed be drawn to embrace God faithfully and to love him fully with heart, soul, mind and strength."

David S. Dockery, seminary president and editor of Shaping a Christian Worldview

"James Emery White lays bare the tension points--doubt, confusion, resentment--that stifle true intimacy with God. By walking us through our deepest struggles to understand God, White is just the person to chip away at the wall separating us from our deepest desires to know and be known by God and each other."

Dr. John Maxwell, author, speaker and founder of The INJOY Group

"Wrestling with God is an anointed book. As I read, I felt constrained to stop frequently to think, to take notes, to reflect on my own spiritual journey and, finally, to thank God for such a rich feast of thought and insight."

Gordon MacDonald, author of Ordering Your Private World and Mid-Course Correction

A thoughtful book that will help church leaders as they minister to those who struggle with their relationship with God.

Preaching, Jan/Feb 2009

"Well-written and clear. . . . White's book is a good, solid starting place for college students and others in the beginning stages of theosophical research."

Laurie J. Wolcott for The Christian Librarian, volume 49.1, 2006

"While many recent books have addressed the difficulties of maintaining a deep, intimate relationship with God, White's contribution offers remarkable clarity of thought. [He] structures his discussion around the 'Great Commandment': to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and then to turn that love outward to others. Without giving simplistic answers, White provides insightful and encouraging guidance. . . . The book's moving, well-crafted illustrations--from the faith wrestlings of a young Mother Teresa to a moving story from Corrie ten Boom's childhood--give color and depth to the discussion. Reflecting a breadth of knowledge, this book will appeal to more educated readers, yet its accessibility and brevity will give it a much wider audience."

Publishers Weekly (starred review) June 24, 2003



Introduction: Loving the God We Don't Understand

Part 1: The Struggle of Our Hearts
1. The Betrayal of God
2. The Exclusivity of God

Part 2: The Struggle of Our Souls
3. The Distance of God
4. The Silence of God

Part 3: The Struggle of Our Minds
5. The Foolishness of God
6. The Mystery of God

Part 4: The Struggle of Our Strength
7. The Will of God
8. The Deception of God

Part 5: The Struggle with Our Neighbors
9. The Dislike of People
10. The Danger of People

Conclusion: Living in Tension


James Emery White

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he previously served as the school's fourth president. Dr. White holds MDiv and PhD degrees from Southern Seminary, where he was awarded a Garrett Teaching Fellowship in both New Testament and theology. He has also done advanced university study at Vanderbilt University in American religious history, and continuing education at Oxford University in England. He currently serves on the Board of Reference at Union University, and as the adjunct professor of Christian theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary/Charlotte. An international speaker and consultant, White is the author of over a dozen books, including such Gold Medallion nominees as Serious Times and A Search for the Spiritual, Christianity Today Book of the Year award-winner Wrestling with God, as well as The Prayer God Longs For and A Mind for God. White also served as the consulting editor as well as contributing author to The Holman Bible Handbook and The Holman Concise Bible Commentary.

BY James Emery White