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Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion?

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  25 reviews
For many, trying to discover "God's will" is a confusing and frustrating process. In an effort to divine God's will, people try praying harder, meditating more on Scripture, or briefly living a better life. But as this insightful book shows, such activities have more in common with paganism than with biblical Christianity.

Exploring a misunderstood area of Christian
Paperback, 195 pages
Published January 30th 2002 by Eerdmans (first published January 1995)
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Mar 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: someone who already has a major grasp of Christian ideas but does not know how to live them
This book redefines the phrase "seeking God`s will" by exploring the elements of pagan rituals that influences our notion that God purposefully hides His will from His children.
Furthermore it warns us that by using the phrase "seeking GOd`s will" we are providing ourselves and others a misrepresentation of what we really want to say, that is "living God's will."
More importantly, Waltke explains how to "live in God`s will", outlining specific actions we should take in order to know and live a
Sara Robillard
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sara by: Bill Martin
I had gone on my own journey to discover "God's Will" and "purpose" for my life, and it was through His word that I discovered the truths that Waltke presented. I was particularly impacted by the second part of the book, "God's Program of Guidance." I must admit, I did cringe a bit when a “step-by-step system” was presented, but at the same time, I can see how it would be valuable to one being introduced to it. You have to step back and see that in the end, all of it becomes natural as you grow ...more
Bill Martin
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
To approach this book, you really need to imagine you are in the study, getting advice from your grandfather. . .who happens to be a scholar, a philologist, fluent in thirteen Ancient Near Eastern languages. As erudite as Bruce Waltke is--Hebrew grammarian, Commentator, Bible translator--he never leaves the reader behind.

You will find the tone of this compact, readable manual to be personable, pastoral and encouraging, yet weighty and constructive. Gently, wisely, Dr. Waltke challenges easy
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
I really loved this book. It truly was amazing. So concrete and so easy to understand, yet so in depth. It affirmed many things I already knew and put me on track re: a few things I have been missing.

Like Alice, I found his sudden references to homosexuality lacking/off-putting. And that opinion is not about whether I agree or disagree with him - that's irrelevant. The issue is he just dropped it in, never discussed it in depth, and then left it.

Overall this book has been incredibly helpful to
Gene Helsel
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waltke's excellent book is a potent remedy for the myriads of Christians who spend the bulk of their time trying to discern the "secret will of God" instead of applying themselves to the "revealed will of God." Waltke helps the believer discern the difference between God's revealed and secret wills along with helpful advice on how to make decisions consistent with the former. Very good. Very helpful. This book, if carefully read and applied, will set free many a bound-up Christian who ...more
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
No matter where one is in their Christian walk, I am convinced that anyone would receive eye-opening gems of wisdom by reading this book. A relatively short and easy read, Waltke's style of writing is superb. He fully backs the entire book with a plethora of scripture and provides easy-to-understand real life sceanarios. I would recommend this book to any Christian; especially young Christians struggling with God's will.
Douglas Wilson
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
George P.
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bruce K. Waltke, Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016).

In this book, Bruce K. Waltke asks a provocative question: “Is finding God’s will a biblical idea?” He concludes that it is not. Indeed, he claims that phrases such as “finding God’s will” and “seeking the will of God” reflect “a pagan notion” and amount to “divination,” which the Bible condemns. This is a strong claim, of course—perhaps a bit too strong.

On the other hand, Waltke is right to
Nate Mason
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This work includes a section dealing with God's disdain for man's attempt to divine His will. Following that, Waltke walks through a series of steps for making decisions biblically. This is a good book that approaches the issue a little bit differently than DeYoung's work, Just Do Something. I would probably recommend DeYoung's book over this one for most people, although Waltke's section detailing the negative light of divination is thorough in presentation and absent from Just Do Something.
Robert Renteria
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Practical and Necessary

Waltke deals with our tendency towards subjectivism. He puts the notion of 'finding God's will' in its place. The Scriptures are our guiding light and God has communicated his will through its varied and clear teaching. This is an excellent tool for counselers to aid those struggling at crossroads to not follow the trends today.
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
If you take this book primarily as an apologetic against other views on finding God's will and how to frame the question, it does pretty well. It does a decent job of tearing down the theological basis for "waiting on special revelation", a propensity of many well-meaning Christians.

"When I hear Christians talking about the will of God, they often use phrases such as "If only I could find God's will," as though He is keeping it hidden from them, or "I'm praying that I'll discover His will for
Shaun Lee
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As much as I hate to admit it, I am unable to shake off my charismatic roots and inclinations in relating to God. I, however, am rock solid in my conviction that Scripture has to be studied, taught and preached in context; exegesis is the only responsible method of conveying the Word of God - I can accept no compromises in this area. I am therefore caught in the middle of two seemingly contrasting traditions that advocate contradictory methods in seeking God's will.

Waltke's theological
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Practical book on guidance. Exposes common fallacies about "finding God's will" and suggests there are a number of practice and sensible tools to provide guidance other than drawing lots including clear revelation in the scripture, prayer, desire, wise council, and opportunity. Points out that God isn't "hiding is will" but that doesn't mean we will understand what He's doing. I liked this book, but I found Dallas Willard's book on Guidance covered much of the same group, but was warmer and move ...more
Jacob Aitken
If I could have done two things in college, I would have shut down the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and made all of the survivors read this book. Waltke does a great job in showing how the standard BCM collegiate view of "knowing God's will" means usually "staring blankly (or singing wildly) until you get this impression confirming what you alraedy want to do." This is also known as shamanism.
Neil Steinwand
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the top two books I have read on understanding God's will (The Mystery of God's Will by C. Swindoll is the other). An excellent discussion of non-biblical ways of discerning the will of God and a suggested hierarchy of steps God has provided for us to place ourselves in concert with His plans.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some of Waltke's apologetic reasoning is a little weak, but it's not a book about apologetics so I was willing to let it slide. It was helpful in clarifying what Christians meant when they said that one is to rely primarily on the Word of God for discerning God's will.
Rebi Cimpean
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book which has given me an incredible insight on how to approach God and His will. However, I'd like to study more on this subject in order to get a better understanding and grasp on this matter, but it was definitely worth reading.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An anchor of reason in a sea of confusion

The most clear and convincing reasoning I have heard for putting an end to the spiritual "hocus pokus" that circulates among most groups within contemporary church subculture for discerning the will of God.
Drew Van Gorder
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for a sure fire way to determine the will of the God of the universe, this is an excellent book. Every believer, young, old, mature, and baby alike should read this book. The information is priceless.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any Christians
- "Christian knowledge and understanding are grounded in God's revelation in the Bible through the Holy Spirit, who revealed the truth and illuminates its meaning." (pg. 179)
Dave Rench
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it

Good book, with solid teaching. Knew most of the info already, but a good reminder.
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Simple and spot on.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A terrific book. It offers a remarkably sober perspective on "finding God's will."
Luke Miller
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: god-s-will
Very careful treatment of how the will of God is described in Scripture. Ends with very helpful chapters on how to understand the guidance of God in our daily decisions. Very good.
Caleb Nedimyer
rated it liked it
Apr 17, 2019
Perry Swack
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Jun 02, 2018
Tim Headley
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Feb 20, 2017
Joe Meyer
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May 21, 2012
Justin Tilghman
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Oct 21, 2016
Summer Palmer
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Mar 26, 2017
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"Finding God's Will" 1 4 Feb 07, 2008 07:42AM  

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