The Christing, by Paul White, was a great find. Paul comes across as being informed and authoritative, wise in fact, but never academic or dry. The book is written from the heart, with honesty and a clear passion to share something of Jesus with the reader. Paul shares with enthusiasm, to build up the reader and help them grow into maturity of faith.
There are frequent touches of humour, with the teaching grounded in reality and accessible – ideal for those of us who need reminding of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church and in our individual lives. It is perfect for anyone who may be searching for a deeper knowledge and relationship with Jesus.
Paul’s creativity is obvious (and mention must be made of the beautiful cover artwork that he created himself, and the many sketches that punctuate the text). The themes in each chapter are illustrated with examples from throughout the Bible, especially some insightful linking of Old Testament and New Testament teaching that unpacks of some parts of the Old Testament and relates it directly to the New Testament. I found it brought some stories of the Old Testament even more alive and relevant.
Whilst the book is littered with some really insightful nuggets… some gems that the reader can hold on to… there is also plenty of room for personal thought, with pertinent questions posted at end of each chapter, which could make it a good choice for a Christian book club or home group study.
The book works well as an aide to building and deepening your relationship with God, based on sound biblical teaching. It builds a picture of how the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus in us, can be a blessing that equips and empowers, and is freely available to all.
Paul has used the word “Christing”, in the title but also throughout the book, as a term meaning “the anointing of the Spirit of Jesus”. At first I struggled with it, but on explanation and discussion it fits so well… so credit for creating a new word! And it is worth noting that like many new words around at the moment, it can be used as a verb as well as a noun, a “doing” word. Allowing Christ to work through us, but also allowing us to work through Christ.
In this book there is encouragement and support for any Christian to practice their faith. For me, I especially enjoyed what he says about reclaiming creativity and using creative gifts to serve God. We are created in His image, and He is infinitely creative, so we can be too. Our imagination is a God given gift, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Having recently published Beneath the Tamarisk Tree, I could also wholly understand the teaching that being creative leaves you feeling exposed and vulnerable to worldly judgement and criticism. But was encouraged to be reminded that the creative process, when done to the glory of God, is a part of the process of sonship… and we know already that we have God’s approval even before we have started.
The book includes many amazing stories of healing and salvation which are so encouraging, presented with humility.
The reader is reminded of the importance of going out to face the world “pickled” and “properly clothed”… in the Spirit that is!
Overall I was left with my expectations challenged. Am I expecting enough on a Sunday morning, am I expecting enough every other day of the week too? It is certainly healthy to be challenged this way.
Thank you Paul.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, but was under no pressure to provide a favourable review.