Thursday, 26 December 2013

Book review- God's Panoply

Book review God's Panoply
by Anne Hamilton
 
Any time I read a book by Anne Hamilton I find she makes me confront some ideas I had not encountered or thought about before. I particularly loved the story of the Maori people who initially had no word for forgiveness. But only knew payback and the cultural obstacle this caused for missionaries. The same with the Vikings.

Anne goes on to tackle a verse in Ephesians that manages to get a lot of people, particularly women, offside. The main reason for that is, as she explains, a misunderstanding of what the verse is saying. I had heard the explanation Anne arrived at, once before in a talk by someone else but I felt it was far more clearly and comprehensively explained in this book than in the talk.

The illustration about geese is another one that stayed in my mind, so much so that I ended up writing a poem about geese. Yet it is not really about geese at all, but learning from them. The geese come into play a bit further in the book too as a cheer squad – a great image. Have I whetted your appetite to read this book yet? To my mind it one that many of us could do with reading as it clears up what can often is misunderstandings of verses and concepts.

Anne makes her points eloquently and uses clear illustrations. I loved the one about the gold box of kisses and the way she applies it to Psalm 2. I admit to being challenged to try the Christmas celebration idea with our family.

Anne is very well read and, as anyone who has read her other books will know, she introduces examples from legends, poetry, nature and various sources that invariably shed more light on the Bible and our understanding of God. This book is a treasure trove of ideas. If you want a book that will make you think, that will challenge you and bear, no more than likely require, more than one reading then this book is for you. And how about the cover? Isn’t it gorgeous?
reviewed by Dale Harcombe

Dale writes fiction and poetry as well as bible studies and devotionals. Her current novel is Streets on a Map.

13 comments:

  1. Hi Dale - thanks for such a gorgeous review - and, I'm delighted to see, almost as kaleidoscopic in movement as the topics in the book itself.

    The story of the cover forms an epilogue to the 'second edition' - if anything in these print-on-demand days qualifies as a 'second edition', that is! I know it seems strange for a book about God's armour to have a flower on the cover. However, the daffodil there represents the rose of Sharon, a daffodil-like flower. Sharon comes from the Hebrew for righteousness and also for breastplate, while the Hebrew word for the rose itself means overshadowed by God's love.

    That's such a beautiful image, it was irresistible!

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  2. A beautiful idea, and a beautiful book. It sounds like Anne has lots of stimulating thoughts to share with readers.

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    1. Hi LeAnn - thanks for commenting. I'm delighted with Dale's review - because mostly the feedback I've had is that readers find it too personal to be able to say anything. Several people have told me, 'It broke my heart' or 'I was wrecked' - the last in terms of worldview. This has surprised me because I thought it was directed at the head, not the heart.

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  3. Hi Dale, thanks for the review. I've heard much about this book and look forward to reading it.

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  4. Hi Annie, Dotti and Leanne. Just popping in quickly as I have family here. Thanks for the comments on the review. Can I just say I think this is a book I think everyone should read. In my view, personal can be a good thing. It means we are sharing our lives and our walk with the Lord as well as knowledge.

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    1. Hi Dale - thank you so much! That's a huge uplift to me (pun fully intended).

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    2. You're welcome and people will just have to read the book to fully understand the pun.

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  5. Lovely review, Dale. I have a copy that I won recently here in my pile of 'to read' books, but your review makes it sound so inviting, I think I'll have to bump it up the pile!

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    1. Hi Jo-Anne - love to hear your thoughts when you've finished reading it.

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    2. Sounds a good plan Jo-Anne.

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  6. Dale, great review! I haven't read God's Panopoly yet and it sounds like a challenging and fascinating read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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    1. It is and a follow on from God's Poetry. Dale sneaking a few minutes on the computer while family are still on their way back from the beach.

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