‘One Holy Passion” Book Review by David P. Craig
One of the highlights of my life as a follower of Christ has been learning from the teaching and writing ministry of Dr. R.C. Sproul. R.C. has an amazing ability to make complex truths simple and comprehensible. The first book that R.C. Sproul wrote on the character and nature of God was entitled “The Holiness of God.” I think that book and J.I. Packer’s “Knowing God” and A.W. Tozer’s “The Knowledge of the Holy” were the three best practical books on the character and nature of God in the twentieth century. “Discovering The God Who Is” is a reprint of Sproul’s second book on the character and nature of God originally entitled “One Holy Passion.”
In my opinion it is the finest book on the major attributes of God ever written for a general Christian audience. There is simply no grandeur theme in life than that of Theology Proper (the study of God). Sproul takes 12 attributes of God including His omnipotence, self-existence, omnipresence, omniscience – and 8 others – and gives penetrating insight and practical applications concerning each one. R.C. does a masterful job of heightening, illuminating, and glorifying our understanding of God. He has the ability to write with penetrating insight and skillfully stretch one’s thinking on the greatness of God, without delving into the abstract or obscure. He keeps you on the edge of your seat as you read about our amazing relational and yet totally transcendent God.
If you have never read a book on God’s attributes before this is a wonderful place to start. However, even if you’ve read Charnock’s massive treatise on the “Attributes of God” you will still be instructed and encouraged by Sproul’s practical theology. I have read this book several times over the years, and it is one of a few books I come to again and again. I think the reason I love this book so much is because Sproul has an ability to convey the realities of God’s nature in such an attractive way. He writes in a way that makes God warm up to you, and you to Him. Sproul is passionate about God and when he writes about God he stirs in the reader a passion for God as well. He conveys the “warmth” of God and the “Holy otherness” of God without watering down His immanence (nearness) or transcendence (otherness).
I think Sproul and C.S. Lewis are similar in this fashion. They have a way of taking you deep and into complex waters of truth, without sinking you. You always feel safe and grounded while they take you into the depths of reality. There are no greater depths to delve into, than the depths of God’s nature and character. R.C. is a wise, trustworthy, and safe guide who takes you into the deep waters of truth where you will find the infinite treasures of a Holy God, and he will help you to develop your own holy passion to know Him and to make Him known.