Ben, your new book is called the Beauty of God – tell us all about it!
This is the first of two books I wrote during the pandemic – the other one will come out later this year – so it’s a product of having slightly more time on my hands than I normally would.
More than that though, it’s a product of time I’ve had in the classroom with students, and in particular of one lecture on the attributes of God. I’ve delivered the lecture countless times, and every time there’s a real sense of God’s presence in the classroom. The last time I delivered this lecture, in September 2021, I felt prompted to get it all down in a book.
Did you pick the title because it’s one of the attributes, or because it’s a description of all the attributes?
It’s the latter really. As well as reflecting on how these attributes are significant to our faith and to our walk with God, there is some nature writing in there – I’ve always been aware of how we can see God in the beauty of the natural world. And I had quite a lot of teaching on beauty from a Creative Arts course I used to teach on, so that’s also shaped some of the content.
Previously you’ve written some academic books and some more devotional works – where does this book fall on that spectrum?
Somewhere in between – it is more devotional than it is academic, but for the first time the academic imprint of my publisher has taken this one, which was quite brave of them! It’s also different to everything I’ve written before because I think there’s more of me in it, more of my heart. Most of the book was written during my morning devotions. I wrote myself a section on each attribute, using the Scriptures to meditate on that attribute. I used it as a devotional tool for about three months before I started to refine it for publication.
What’s your hope for what God will do with this book?
I’m hoping God will bring it to the attention of people who haven’t read any of my work before, especially to those who would be unlikely to pick up any of my academic work.
The Beauty of God is available at all major online bookstores.
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