Sleeve Notes – Searching for a Better God


About the Book
The questions about God that used to center around his existence are now aimed at his morality; the God who permits diseases and natural disasters that kill innocent people; the God that allows brutal dictators to rule with an iron fist. At best this God is aloof and uncaring; at worst he is primitive and cruel. Many of the contemporary generation have concluded, through what is called common sense theology, that we are actually morally superior to God and he is less than inadequate. Even some in the church have begun to suspect this same thing that God just isn’t that great. But as people of faith, we have an understanding that helps us bridge the reality of what we see with those realities we do not see. So how are we to communicate that to a skeptical generation? In Searching for a Better God, Wade Bradshaw shows us that the caricatures many have drawn of God are not accurate and God, as described in the Bible, is misunderstood. Ideas about God that at first consideration seem unethical are precisely how we need God to be. He gives us ways to talk to those who doubt Gods character. By thoroughly explaining and examining this contemporary, common sense theology, Bradshaw brings us back to confident hope in God, the perfect and moral God of the Bible.

About the Author
Wade Bradshaw is currently a pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville, Virginia. He has a diverse background working as a veterinarian in Nepal for three years, at the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary for four years, in the English branch of LAbri Fellowship for eleven years, and as the pastor of the International Presbyterian Church in Liss, Hampshire, England for a year. He is married to Chryse and has four children.

This is an exciting book for those of us who have heard the “old” story our whole lives yet struggle with the very serious questions the “new” story raises. I’m not sure that I came away feeling as if Bradshaw bridged the gap between the two stories. I am however extremely grateful that he started the dialogue. All too often pastors, teachers even other believers castigate those of us who live with these questions. I found it refreshing that at least one pastor, teacher and fellow believer allowed for those of us who question…and even better yet, attempted to bridge the difference between the faith of our past and the questions of our present. For a more in-depth review of the book, check out Mike Morrell’s post over at zoecarnate.

Categories: Book Recommendation, Searching for a Better God, Sleeve Notes, Wade Bradshaw | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Sleeve Notes – Searching for a Better God

  1. Brittian Bullock

    Nice. Any instant thoughts? I’d be curious what your reaction was. Mine was mixed. I felt like in some ways he was saying “yeah this is how God is, deal with it…” but in other ways trying to bridge the gap through dialog. In the end, that’s what I appreciated most–the conversation.

    It’s those damned fundamentalists (sacred and secular, conservative and liberal) who refuse to conversate that truly irk me. It’s just leaves me wondering if they really believe what they’re saying–else they’d be willing to explore it, wrestle with it, and see if it still moves.

    Anyhow thanks for the post up!

    (PS…blog more!!! I keep checking and NOT seeing your sleeve notes for life…inquiring minds want to know 😉

  2. Jonathan

    I truly liked that he started the dialogue (which is what I felt like he did). I didn’t feel like his third way really did it for me. Perhaps starting with a flawed premise of God gives us this result. Truth is though, we will always have a flawed premise of God because the methods by which we learn about God are flawed.

    As for Sleeve Notes for Life…Given the upheaval that goes with a separation, my own feelings of inadequacy that sprang up in the process and the journey of rediscovery that I’ve since embarked on, it seemed right to shelve the project for a little while. Having said that, I’m been re-editing some of what I’ve already written and have recently started developing some new pieces which I’ll start putting up (Doin It Doggy Style is one currently in the works) some stuff! 😉


  3. I was interested – because I find this so blatantly and nonchalantly underaddressed – until I read about the Francis Schaeffer Institute and Covenant Seminary. I feel I’ve had enough Calvinism to last me forever, and I am just not impressed with what that system’s philosophical roots or what it says about God. Ah well, there is more out there.

    Wishing you a good Thanksgiving, Jonathan.

  4. Brittian Bullock

    David–I know where you’re coming from. There’s a notable pop historian, long dead, named Will Durant, who once made a comment along the lines that there has never been a more hideous understanding or philosophy ever invented than that of Calvinism…Lol. I think that’s a bit extreme, but there are certainly vast numbers of people who use that way of thinking to get out of having to ask the hard questions of God and weaseling out of making the hard changes in themselves. Sovereignty and security, in the hands of spiritually retarded children will degenerate into exclusion and arrogance.

    That all having been said–Francis Schaeffer, and some of those closest to him (at least prior to 1983), feel like they were a far different breed than I normally encounter.

    As this book shows…willing to engage in discussion, converse about deep and troubling issues, and capable of hearing the other perspective without condemning it first–I find that to be a real challenge for us all…maybe even towards them…

  5. Jonathan

    David –

    It’s really good to hear from you! I haven’t been following you as closely over the past months due to stuff that’s been going on in my life. But, I do periodically make my way over and always find myself challenged by what I read. Love the new site! And am really glad to hear that you aren’t blogging as part of some “self-discovery” ritual!

    I agree that this issue is seriously under-addressed. Am I’m thankful that at least Bradshaw is addressing the issue. Like I mentioned, I didn’t come away feeling as if Bradshaw solved the problem for me (not that I guess he really should have…but…) and perhaps that has something to do with his background.

    Hey, are you going to be at the GCN Conference in Anaheim in January? I’m going to try to be there for at least part of it and, would love to catch up if you are going to be there!


  6. Afraid I won’t be at the conference. I am actually going to be spending time that weekend with a good friend of mine on the other coast. Though you are not the first to ask me, so I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t’ve decided to go! Alas.

  7. TK

    A better God – He is already perfect – it is you who lacks understanding. When you come to a better realization of who HE is will you discover this.

    I understand your point. However, there are many people out there who do not feel “He is already perfect”…how do we address those people? Do we have answers for them that will persuade them that he is perfect? If you just say “He is already perfect” and that those who don’t believe that “lacks understanding” you’ve shut down the effectiveness of your message. Paul the Apostle stood on Mars Hill and dialogued with those who believed in many gods. If we can’t make our arguments successfully, we are useless and are just preaching to the choir!

    I understand these questions because I’ve asked them. Some of them still nag in the back of my brain. This book, I believe, opens the dialogue box that is shut down, too often, by responses like the one you propose. I don’t want to shut down the dialogue!

    Blessings to you! Jonathan

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