'Why does God make stuff?' New book digs into why the Creator creates
A new book by theologian and author Andrew Wilson asks some interesting questions about creation ...
God of All Things author Andrew Wilson is a teaching pastor at King’s Church in London. For the past 10-15 years he has offered theological training for the network of Newfrontiers churches. A regular contributor to the US magazine Christianity Today, he has had 10 books published in a range of styles, including two children’s books. John Woods asks the questions …
Andrew, welcome to Inspire Magazine. I enjoyed reading your new book. What prompted you to write it?
All of my best ideas come when I am on holiday … a pool in France or something. Most go somewhere and some of them don’t.
My life story is being a local church pastor and trying to dig deep into theology as well. I wanted to write another book about God because the first book I wrote – Incomparable – was about God. People had told me that they had enjoyed a book that was about God, and how rare that is. I didn’t want to do a rehash of the attributes and names of God; I wanted another angle on it.
This book explores 30 things, 15 from the Old Testament (from dust to the Sun), and 15 from the New Testament (from salt to clothes). What was your aim in writing it?
Some objects have obvious significant connections in Scripture, but I have enjoyed digging into less obvious objects like olives or trumpets. Seeing the significance of things in biblical books and making connections with memories of other biblical books.
I wanted to ask questions like ‘Why is there a created world in the first place; why does God make stuff?’ ‘What do we learn about God from these, and can they lead us into worship?’
That sounds a like a mixture of Bible words and Blue Planet?
That sums it up well. With David Attenborough there is still a joy. I worship through things like that. What kind of God must he be that he would create that creature, which I have not even seen?
What is your ideal target audience?
Most of my books have been written at the level of a regular sermon. Trying to be accessible and understandable as I can. Trying to take things that have been in the Bible the whole time but to help people to be delighted by them and excited about God working in these things.
Could preachers learn something from this book?
The art of being able to communicate well is important for preachers, because worship, wonder and delight are in the human soul. That is primarily what I have in mind when preaching. I want to encourage the delight of what it is to have a living God and a good God.
Objects are very powerful ways of doing that because they don’t only exist in the moment – they can serve as a touchpoint for you to return to that theme over and over again. For example, pigs reek, but when they are dead, they create one of the greatest aromas: freshly cooked bacon. Preaching helps us smell the bacon and draw us into the lesson. Ah I remember that word!
How do you suggest that people use the book?
Everybody is different … one of my readers said: “I start running my bath, read a chapter of your book and by the time I have finished, the bath is ready.”
Andrew, thank you for sparing the time. Now I am going to read it again one chapter at a time.
- Andrew Wilson – God of All Things: Recovering the Sacred in an Everyday World is published by Zondervan (ISBN 9780 310 10908 2, 221 pages, £12.99)