|When Heaven Comes Down
Experiencing God’s Glory In Your Life
Soft Cover, 188 pages
Author: Ché Ahn
Publisher: Chosen, a division of Bake Publishing Group
First of all, thanks go out to Bethany House for this review copy of When Heaven Comes Down.
This was a challenging book to read. As for topic, it is out of my zone of comfort, but this was an important factor in me choosing this book for review in the first place. The author, Ché Ahn, gives the reader compelling reasons to give God glory, to seek God’s glory, and to build themselves into a community of God that expresses this same glory. He presents God’s glory as something palpable that we can and should experience as we seek after him. Whether he is speaking on God’s presence, God’s willingness to heal the sick and raise the dead, his own desire for personal holiness as an avenue to experience God’s glory, or the unity and power we can experience when we are in tune with God’s glory, he is passionate and practical.
He begins by describing how God’s glory can be experienced, moves on to developing and preparing ourselves to experience that glory, and finishes by proclaiming his certainty that the we will experience God’s glory, enabling us to reach people with the gospel. He does all this in an amicable, conversational tone. He recognizes that many of his readers will struggle to wrap their faith around what he is saying; on multiple occasions he opens with, “I realize this sounds fantastic…” or other similar expressions. His purpose is not shock and bewilderment, nor boasting, but preparation of the reader to accept what God is capable and willing to do – even when it busts open culture and religious barriers, even when it is way out of our box.
I would say that many of the chapters had material at the beginning that was more challenging to take at face value, that required (or will require) stretching my faith. But the end of these chapters was always incredibly practical, presenting the way forward in stepwise fashion. He never presents quick fixes or shortcuts to experiencing God’s glory, but his insight is powerful and direct. His passion shines through: evangelism that is more than just teaching and preaching, true discipleship rather than just conversion. This book is filled with his own personal experiences of God’s glory, as well as the experiences of his family and the network of Christians he has ministered with.
He is not afraid of Scripture, and for this I was thankful. He is not just smoking pixie dust. He does not just write mystical and inspiring words. He is trusting God to do what he has said he will do in the Bible. This makes his presentation logical and easy to follow, even when it conflicts with my day-to-day experience. Rather than judge what he says by my experience, I can tell that my experience of God and his work among us is not nearly as full as I would like it to be.
I’ll admit that some of what Ahn offers in this book I didn’t agree with, or am still pondering. But Ahn presented this work in a very unifying and patient way, that allows for one to grapple with it without condemnation or exclusion. Chapter 12 was probably the chapter I had the most difficulty with, since spending time with Jesus has never brought gold dust in my experience. But his application at the end of this chapter was sound and intended to produce disciples of Christ who were good stewards of all that God brings their way. The discussion on impartation I struggled with, but it was presented in a very dynamic and context-sensitive way, rather than a one size fits all “laying on of hands”. As he discussed the topic, I became much more comfortable (still ruminating on it, though).
I give this book ★★★☆☆. Even if one comes to the conclusion that they do not agree in one point or another with Ahn, I think they will benefit in their Christian walk for reading it. I think they will become a stronger part of the body of Christ as they take up Ahn’s challenge to seek God for who he is, on his terms and not their own. I can envision God’s people giving God glory as they experience his power at work in their communities.