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Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A “Holy Habit” That Will Change Your Life! Experience true spiritual transformation: invite God’s presence into your life! Popular author, theologian, and pastor Gregory Boyd shows you how—simply, practically, and effectively—in this thoughtful and accessible book. Discover: • How to pray continually • What it means to “take every thought captive” • How to wake up to God’s ...more
Paperback, 166 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Zondervan (first published April 1st 2010)
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Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
While I found this book helpful, I cannot recommend it.

The strengths of this book:
- It helps to remind Christians that God is constantly working, always present, and that his love and care for those of us in Chri-st are constant. This is such a great truth, and Boyd emphasizes it heavily.
- It helps readers to implement strategies that may help us be mindful of God's presence and care (and reality) throughout the day. This book is a great antidote for the Deistic Newtonian worldview we've all in
Adam Ross
This was an interesting book, though not my favorite by Boyd. He is exploring the contemplative tradition in this book and distilling the works of men like Brother Lawrence. He points out that God dwells in the present, not the past or the future. The past is simply the present that has gone, and the future is a present not yet arrived. But God dwells in the present moment. The rest of the book sets out to show how focusing on the present, both in our connection with God, and our day-to-day live ...more
Carolyn Wray
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Christian books I have read to date. I think the back of the book blurb is deceiving. This isn't some kind of touchy feely- be happy all the time because God loves you floozy books. This is a definite call to live your life for God. Boyd makes the case that one of the primary duties of a believer is to remain in Christ. What does that look like in daily life? That is what this book explores.
Dustin Mailman
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the most refreshing reads I’ve had in years. The 2nd to last chapter on incarnational ministry has shaken up the way that I see community and the way I see individuals that show up in the mundane/in between moments of my everyday life. Greg Boyd is a fantastic author and his writing is really digestible and easy to read. If you’ve got the time you should read this book.
Jeff Bobin
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brief but good reflection on making God a part of your everyday world.

Includes some practical exercises to help you develop and stay focused.
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was both humbled and enthralled with Gregory A. Boyd's perspective about having a living, breathing relationship with our Heavenly Father that wasn't boxed in, legalistic or filled with "Need to do" or "To do", but instead, about the fact, it's not about living and experiencing our Father yesterday or tomorrow, or when the time is perfect, but rather, experiencing Him, right now, in the present.
What I enjoyed about reading, "Present Perfect" , besides the fact that I found myself constantly no
Josh Morgan
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review originally appeared on my blog, Jacob's Cafe.

As many people who know me well know, I love spiritual formation and exploring the spiritual disciplines. However, I also have a lot of criticism for most of the disciplines. My favorite has been the practice of the presence of God, particularly made famous by Brother Lawrence's book of the same name. That made me very excited to have the opportunity to review Gregory Boyd's Present Perfect: Finding God in the Now, made possible through a
Greg Dill
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When I purchased "Present Perfect" I was unaware that it was a book about a specific spiritual discipline. This deviates quite nicely from Boyd's usual style of writing, in that it is not information or theology driven. Present Perfect in a nutshell is a book about becoming aware (waking up) and staying attuned to God's presence in and around you at every present moment of your life. Boyd states, "I’ve become absolutely convinced that remaining aware of God’s presence is the single most importan ...more
Trevor Lloyd
A book about trying to put into practice the discipline famously encouraged by Brother Lawrence of Practising the Presence of God. Also influenced by J-P de Caussade and Frank Laubach (missionary to Philippines in 1930s). It is really about how to aim to stay awake to God's presence moment by moment. Asserts that practising the presence of God is the most important spiritual discipline we can practise. Involves moment-by-moment decisions to surrender to lordship of Christ and reject various idol ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All too often we compartmentalize our lives. Relationships, work, play,academic learning,faith.
God gets put into a box with a limited amount of time. Hes on our to do list and somehow we expect to feel spiritually accomplished once we check that time off only to be surprisingly spiritually thirsty.

Greg Boyd addresses what life is like to live each day, each moment with Christ. Its not a practice of being aware but being awake and present WITH God not just OF God. Boyd backs up his points with sc
Nathan Eilers
The New Testament makes clear that the Christian is to walk by the Spirit, not by the flesh, but what I had wanted for a while was a way to carry this out. Jesus' work is complete, I knew, but how do I live by the Spirit moment by moment? In this powerful and short book, Boyd provides an answer: practice the presence of God.

Here is the perfect balance of my effort and God's work. By inviting God into everything I do, I allow His power to flow through me to others so that His will may be done. Bo
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book confirms what has been happening in my own spiritual journey over the last year or so. I got tired of relgion and spirituality as a set of beliefs. I have been seeking to experience God in relationship rather than ideas and belief systems. Boyd's book gives some practical exercises that have helped me even more in my quest to be in relationship with God. He has confirmed my hunches and experiences of hearing from God directly. My only challenge to the author is his assertion that the o ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This book is close to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity in how good it is. He cites 3 men who have practiced the presence of God, and encourages us in each chapter how we can do this. His chapter on death is outstanding. We fear death so much because we live in the future and the past. We fear having a life of mediocrity, and constantly evaluate and judge. He states to focus on God now at this present moment.

This discipline of practicing God's presence now is the first thing all Christians should do
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just what the description says… This book opens up your eyes to the realization that Jesus is present right now… And 10 seconds from this moment of you reading… He still there. 10 seconds ago was your past, and right now… Right now while you're reading this, is your present. In reading this last paragraph, how much did you think about God, and that He's present right beside you, closer than the breath in your lungs? This book really presses you and challenges you to open up your eyes, to feel, t ...more
Jamin Bradley
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What I love about Greg Boyd is that he hits on a lot of topics I've never really thought about or heard addressed. This book does just that.

Now you may find it to be a bit repetitive throughout, but Boyd points that out at the beginning. He's not trying to offer tons of new ideas every chapter, he's trying to deepen our understanding of what he's trying to say. He makes lots of good points and leaves you with a desire to learn how to practice the presence of God.

If you read this book just to rea
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Boyd's thoughts about the nature of religion vs the power of personal relationship, especially as enumerated in Repenting of Religion, have been thought-provoking and paradigm shifting for me. This book delivered more of the same. His emphasis on allowing our awareness of God's presence within each moment is presented in a fresh way I didn't expect. Although, my one critique is that I feel his approach to "practicing the presence" is a bit too removed from reading the Word, there were yet many d ...more
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I read this book as part of a group blogging project over at and have been changed by it. From page one, it made me really analyze the way I live my life and made me realize that I'm not as awake as I think I am. Now that I'm done, I'm moving forward in life trying to live NOW - in THIS moment - and stay awake to God's workings in my life and in the lives of those around me.

Check out lots of thoughts about the book here:
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prayer
Gregory Boyd advocates the practice of the presence of God in the tradition of Brother Lawrence, Frank Labauch, and Jean-Pierre de Caussade. I liked this book because it includes a variety of prayer exercises and helps you both cultivate an awareness of God's presence and work in the world and a sensitivity to where God's leading and the sort of heart we should have for others.
Jeff Borgman
Aug 09, 2010 rated it liked it
This book provides a great foundation for integrating God into your day-to-day life. Boyd writes it in an accessible way that allows you to revisit sections, passages, or the whole concept again. I am hoping this book becomes reference material time and again as I learn how to stay present and be with God in every moment.
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Christian perspective on mindfulness

It's time that Christians realized the joy, peace and purpose that comes from being present in each moment and attuned to God's leading through the Holy Spirit. If the surrender Greg described were to happen in the lives of Christians, it would reverse the world's growing negative view of Christianity.
Brittany Nasgovitz
This was a very basic book (to me) but a good reminder to keep the Lord in mind in each activity and to remember the simple things in life. Live in the moment! I did enjoy reading Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, as well, on which this book is based.
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
I highly recommend this book--it's been one of those life-changing books for me. Using insights from Brother Lawrence, Frank Laubach and J.P. de Caussade, Boyd's book is full of encouragement and helpful exercises for living in the present moment.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book didn't really speak to me, although I am sure there are many people that would take more away from it. Good reminders and exercises to help be more present while in the midst of our daily routines, and during good and bad times.
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Filled with some insightful thoughts on living in the present as well as some simple practices to help us be attentive to God's presence and His working in our world in order for us to practice the kingdom of God now rather than waiting or talking about it.
Rachel Murphy
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book as he takes books by Brother Lawrence, Frank Laubach and Jean-Pierre De Caussade, and paraphrases them, gives practical examples of how to implement the practices into ones life, and also offers ways it can be useful socially rather than just independently.

Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version of this book. It was very informative and theologically dense, as is all of Greg's work. I would have liked it better if Greg had actually narrated it. I listen to his sermon podcast and I like his delivery better than the narrator actually chosen.
JP Saint-Louis
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Christian books. Draws from classics like "the Practice of the Presence of God" and adds fresh insights on the topic.
Feb 19, 2016 added it
Shelves: prayer
was ready to get it done
Chris Jones
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great Boyd always takes a predetermined point of view and makes you rethink it's meaning. Love his books. Really stretches the reader.
Aug 07, 2010 is currently reading it
Practical book on how to, in every moment, live in the precence of God. Very helpful book so far.
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Gregory A. Boyd is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn., and founder and president of ReKnew. He was a professor of theology at Bethel College (St. Paul, Minn.) for sixteen years where he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor.

Greg is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA), Yale Divinity School (M.Div), and Princeton Theological Seminary (PhD). Gre
“modern Western culture, you’ve been brainwashed by what is called “the secular worldview.” In this view of the world, what’s real, or at least what’s important, is the physical here-and-now. When we’re brainwashed by this worldview, we experience the world as though God did not exist, for we habitually exclude him from our awareness. We may still believe in God, of course, but he’s not real to us most of the time. Because of this we go about our day-to-day lives as functional atheists. We may pray and worship God on occasion, but these are “special times,” isolated from our “normal,” secular day-to-day life. So thoroughly are we brainwashed by the secular mind-set that the very suggestion that we could routinely experience the world in a way that includes God strikes us as impossible.” 4 likes
“When we live as though we were lords of our own life, capable of meeting our own needs, we are living in the flesh. When we treat people, possessions, or achievements as though they were the source of our worth and significance rather than God, we are living in the flesh. In fact, insofar as we live as though God were not present, moment-by-moment, and as though this wasn’t the most important aspect of any present moment, we are living in the flesh.” 2 likes
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