BOOK REVIEW: R.C. Sproul’s “INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD”
Book Review by David P. Craig
Over the past 30 years I’ve enjoyed the books, lectures, sermons, and writings of R.C. Sproul. This book gathers some of the best devotionals from Ligonier Ministries Magazine – Table Talk. Coram Deo–which means “in the presence of God” is the name of one of the feature columns written by R.C. Sproul. In The Presence of God takes some of the best devotionals from Coram Deo over the past several decades and makes the collection available here in this book.
The devotions selected are encouraging, inspiring, and always based on Scripture. According to R.C. Sproul all of life is to be lived out in the presence of God and for the glory of God. These devotionals remind us daily that God is sovereign, transcendent, and immanent. “To live Coram Deo is to live a life of integrity. It is a life of wholeness that finds unity and coherency in the majesty of God. A fragmented life is a life of disintegration. It is marked by inconsistency, disharmony, confusion, conflict, contradiction, and chaos.” On the other hand, a life of “integrity is found when men and women live their lives in a pattern of consistency. It is a pattern that functions the same way in church and out of church. It is a life in which all that is done is done unto the Lord. It is a life lived by principle, not expediency; by humility before God, not defiance. It is a life lived under the tutelage of a conscience that is held captive by the Word of God.”
There are approximately 150 devotions in this book. Each only a page in length with a short meditation by Sproul, and either a word of encouragement, an application, or a reflection based on each subject. There are 15 Sections in the book with each section containing between 5 and 18 chapters. Here are the subjects addressed by Sproul: (1) Knowing God; (2) Learning God’s Laws; (3) Facing Life’s Challenges with God; (4) Getting Acquainted with God’s Son; (5) Meeting with God; (6) Discerning God’s Will; (7) Understanding God’s Purpose; (8) Becoming Part of God’s Body; (9) Experiencing God’s Best; (10) Journeying with God; (11) Developing a Godly Lifestyle; (12) Using Your Time for God; (13) Confronting the Enemy in God’s Strength; (14) Doing God’s Work; and (15) Facing the Future with God.
You would be hardpressed to find a devotional that is more God-centered and will help you truly live a life that is well-pleasing to God than Sproul’s. I highly recommend this excellent collection as one that will increase your awareness of God, and help you become more intimate in your walk with Him for His glory whether you eat, drink, or whatever you do as you live in His presence.
I am the Lead Pastor of Valley Baptist Church (Bay Area), born and raised in Huntington Beach, Ca., and currently living in Novato, California. I am married to my best friend of 29 years - Dana - and have five adult children; and seven grand children. I have been a Teaching Pastor for over thirty years. I was privileged to study at Multnomah University (B.S. - 1988); Talbot School of Theology (M.Div. - 1991); Westminster Theological Seminary & Northwest Graduate School (D. Min. - 2003). I founded Vertical Living Ministries in 2008 with the goal of encouraging Christian Disciples and Leaders to be more intentionally Christ-Centered in how they live by bringing glory to God in nine key areas of life: (1) Intimacy with God, (2) marriage, (3) family, (4) friendship, (5) vocationally/ministry , (6) emotional and physical health, (7) stewardship of resources, (8) discipleship, and (9) mentoring.
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