The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

Made in The Image of God: Understanding the Nature of God and Mankind in a Changing World

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If you’ve ever read any of my reviews, then you already know I don’t have interest in nonfiction. For some reason, though, this month seems to be the month of favors as I find myself reviewing works from old friends of The Rebel Christian, going against my normal guidelines for the website. Hey, it’s Christmas, I’m feeling a bit cheery.

Now to the actual review; like I said, I don’t have any interest in nonfiction, but I especially have no interest in Christian nonfiction. As a devout Believer, this may seem odd to others, but the truth of it is I’m simply not interested in it. Christian nonfiction is different from other nonfiction in the fact that it generally has an educational narrative. I’m a firm believer in the Word of God so when I’m confused about something in the Bible, I usually study deeper to find the answer, or I ask my pastor. There is plenty of material out there to help you study the Word of God but I’m painstakingly picky about who I accept study material from.

We’re talking about your soul salvation here; if you’re willing to accept teachings from any and everyone you might be led astray—you’ve got to make sure the lessons you are learning and the teachings you choose to accept as truth are coming from a trustworthy and Christ-filled source.

This is why I typically do not read or review Christian nonfiction.

That being said, Made in The Image of God is a book I found somewhat interesting. It is not material I would recommend to someone who is truly looking to understand their faith and learn more about the Word. This book introduces stimulating concepts but does little to advance your faith. Then again, faith is not the purpose of the book; the purpose of this piece is in the title—to understand the nature of God and mankind in a changing world.

Because this is such a specific topic, it is difficult to find the value in reading it if you don’t approach it with a pre-existing interest in the subject. As someone who dislikes theology, I had a hard time sticking with it. As a Christian, I appreciated the Biblical insight but I’m a firm believer in studying the Word.

If you want to deepen your relationship with God, if you want to better understand Christ, then go to church. Spend time in prayer. Spend time fasting. Spend time reading the Word for yourself. If you have any questions or confusion about any part of Christianity, I guarantee you can find answers in the Word. Go to your pastors, to your teachers, to your own congregation.  

This is not to say there is nothing to be learned or appreciated in this book, not at all. I’m sure Christians and non-Believers alike can find something new in this material and in many other works of Christian nonfiction. But it is vitally important to take each book with a grain of salt and check with your own spiritual leaders for truth and guidance.

Now, I honestly think this book is pretty good: while the subject is incredibly focused, the material is not wild rambling from a Christian author. The book constantly references scriptures and passages from the Bible as the base for the author’s arguments, making it clear that Ashbaucher has an understanding of the Word as he uses this source throughout the book to highlight various points in our faith and in the world around us.

Sometimes it felt like I was reading a sociology research paper, sometimes it felt like I was reading a very intense Bible lesson. If you have the mind for it, you can certainly learn from this piece but if you’re somewhat new to Christianity I think you might want to read this with your pastor or other spiritual leader.

I would recommend this to fans of Christian nonfiction and theology. Readers, young and old, with an interest in God in relation to humanity will certainly appreciate this. Adding this book to your Bible study material may add some new perspective.