A review of Tullian Tchividjian’s new book.
There can be no question more important to a person than this one: “Do I know God?” Those who do know Him have the privilege of being adopted into the family of God and being assured of an eternity in His presence. Those who do not have no such privilege and no such hope. In America the vast majority of people claim to be Christians and claim to know God, but so many lives simply do not bear this out. People may know about God, but they do not know God as He is. And so many will perish, going to the grave with some kind of false assurance, thinking they know God when really they do not. It does us all good to ask not once but throughout life, “Do I know God?”
God wants us to know Him and not only that, He wants us to know that we know Him. He wants us to be able to find certainty in this most important relationship. This certainty, the certainty that allows us to have confidence that we are saved and that God loves and will preserve us, is the subject of Do I Know God? by Tullian Tchividjian. Though not a household name, his full name provides some important context: William Graham Tullian Tchividjian is the grandson of Ruth and Billy Graham. As a young man he rebelled and ran from the faith, but was radically saved in 1993 and has since entered the pastoral ministry having first graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. In 2003 he founded New City Presbyterian Church in Florida where he serves as pastor.
Tchividjian wrote this book to show that we can have assurance of our salvation and to teach the reader how we can have this kind of certainty. “The Bible makes it clear that if you’re confused about which group [those who know God and those who don’t] you belong to, you don’t have to remain confused. If you do have a relationship with God, he wants you to know it. And if you don’t have a relationship with God, he wants you to know it.”
This book, then, is his attempt to give credible answers to any sincere spiritual seeker who may be asking that all-important question.” Of course we live at a time when doubt is the highest absolute. We can believe what we want, but we always need to maintain a “healthy” doubt, admitting that we could be (and perhaps probably are) wrong. God’s assurance flies in the face of this doubt.
The format of the book is as follows. Tchividjian first looks at what a relationship to God actually means and how we are to enter into one that is genuine. He identifies six ways that people deceive themselves into thinking they know God when in fact they do not and then seeks to assist the reader to examine himself through a kind of rigorous personal inventory. The purpose of such an examination is to determine if the reader really is showing the traits of one who believes. And finally, he suggests three practical spiritual disciplines that maintain the relationship with God and cause it to flourish.
The book is pastoral in its tone and is laced with stories and anecdotes from Tchividjian’s pastoral ministry and from his own testimony. The endnotes show who has guided Tchividjian in his understanding of this most important theology: Packer, Sproul, Stott, Piper, Ryle and others all make appearances. The book closes with a Study Guide suitable for personal or group use. Tchividjian is a capable writer and one who makes a good personal connection with the reader. The book is suitable for any audience.
Do I Know God? is a helpful and biblical response to that all-important question. With the answers grounded in the character of God and built upon the testimony of Scripture, this book will serve anyone who may be wondering or wavering. I’m glad to recommend it.
The book is currently available for pre-order from Amazon (with a ship date of around August 21) and will soon be available from other retailers.