Book Review by Alexis Chiswell
Updated: Oct 21, 2021
None Like Him: 10 ways God is different from us. By Jen Wilkin.
Our primary problem as Christian women is not that we lack self-worth, not that we lack a sense of significance. It’s that we lack awe.
Somebody wise once told me that I should make sure to prioritise reading books about God, not just books about the Christian life. I had no idea at the time how hard that advice would be to keep. The first books I pull off the shelf when it’s time for a new book are so often books that, while Christian, are essentially about me. How I can improve as a Christian? How do I grow as a minister of the gospel? To be sure, these are good books I’m grateful for. But if we heed the words of the psalmist when he says that ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ (Psalm 111:10), then wisdom is to be found principally as we meditate on who God is, and respond in our hearts and minds with rightful fear. A right view of God will unavoidably lead the Christian to a fuller Christian life, and so I need to keep reading books about God.
Jen Wilkin’s ‘None like him’, is a book about God. What we learn about ourselves in the book serves only to accentuate the qualities of God. Each chapter looks at a way that God is different from us. He is infinite, he is incomprehensible, he is self-existent, he is self-sufficient. He is eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and he is sovereign.
My challenge with reading books about God, is that God is so different from us. His ‘Godness’ can actually just be quite difficult to comprehend. Yet as Wilkin sets the qualities of God against the qualities of humanity, I gained a greater and greater sense of awe at how truly set-apart God is from us. God’s qualities are made all the more vivid by comparing them to the limits of our humanity. And as Wilkin writes:
Our limits teach us the fear of the Lord. They are reminders that keep us from falsely believing that we can be like God.
That God is infinite, that he is the God of no limits who cannot be measured, is far easier to comprehend when we consider just how measurable humans are. From the moment we’re weighed and measured as we enter the world, our life is full of occasions to compare our own measurements to others. But God is not measurable. There is no scale he and I could both be plotted on. My experience of meditating on this truth led me to awe… which naturally led to a release of my compulsion to measure myself. How vain my attempts to measure myself seem when I consider that I call the infinite God Father!
The idea that God is incomprehensible and unable to be fully known, is far easier to comprehend when we consider just how knowable and fully known we are to God. And yet what awe we can have when we consider that he gives us the joy of being able to know him, and keep coming to know him as our primary eternal project!
The notion that God is self-existent, and a God of infinite creativity, is far easier to comprehend when we consider that we are created. We are not creators in ourselves, only recipients and stewards of God’s creative power.
For me, the cumulative effect of reading about ten different ways that God is different from us truly was a greater fear of the Lord. My human limitations are reminders that I am not God, a truth that is both humbling and reason for great peace.
So, I’m going to make my wise friend’s advice my own. Take another step towards true wisdom and prioritise reading books about God. And if you’re looking to do the same, this would be a great one to start with. I pray God uses it for you in the same way he has for me.
You can buy this book from The Wandering Bookseller At time of publishing The Wandering Bookseller was offering a 20% discount. This book is also available in conjunction with is companion book 'In His Image' for a great deal at $29.99.