Sensing God: Experiencing the Divine in Nature, Food, Music, and Beauty by Joel Clarkson

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Did God Give Us Our Senses So that We Could Enjoy Him More?

Sensing God is a discovery of Jesus in all of the sensory points embedded into each of us. It shows how the holiest acts in our daily lives are often the simplest: reveling in the beauty of nature; listening to our favorite music; eating a nourishing meal with family. These are potentially heartbeats of a living faith, and when we learn to recognize and respond to God's goodness in them, it draws us into redemptive participation with Him, the source of all beauty.

Joel Clarkson shares personal stories and paints vivid imagery so that we, too, can taste and see (and hear and touch and smell) that the Lord is good. In our exploration, we meet Jesus, who invites us to enjoy his presence and proclaim his visible, tangible, and touchable gospel. We physically experience the glory of our Creator and at the same time, we make that encounter a testimony to a broken world that is desperate for restoration. We are encouraged to get the good dirt of God's holy world under our nails.

Together, we will come into contact with the God who reaches out to us with His eternal truth through the goodness of beauty. Will you join the journey? Come and learn how to truly worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
n this eloquent testament, musician Clarkson ( A Different Kind of Hero) encourages Christians to slow down and more fully engage in sensory experiences. "We are created to experience God through our senses," he writes, "and in that encounter, to come to know Him better and grow in love." Clarkson encourages readers to routinely linger in "points of sensory contact embedded in" daily life, such as a "bite of something nourishing to eat . . . some favorite music" or the "cool air of a walk." He emphasizes that the book is meant to be a starting place rather than a definitive guide, and provides examples from the Bible, his own life, and a variety of artists, writers, and poets who have become aware of God through the natural world. For instance, Clarkson's sharing of Thanksgiving with new friends in a small fishing village in Scotland instantly evoked memories of "community, and communion and the joy of the feast." In another example, Clarkson discusses his initial concern about attending a writer's retreat without Wi-Fi, and the clarity that resulted from having no interruptions from sensing God's goodness. He also recommends spiritual disciplines, such as fasting, and compares the soul to a window that needs washing from the grime left by sin and negative habits. Max Lucado fans will want to take a look.--Publishers Weekly

In Sensing God, Joel Clarkson has given us a book which is both highly inspiring and remarkably down-to-earth. In Christ, the Word was made flesh, but too often, we disembody God and turn Him back into abstract theology. The reflections in this book will help us to find God where He chose to be found, right in the midst of life.--Malcolm Guite, author of Sounding the Seasons

Both creation and the Incarnation show that God cares deeply about the stuff of earth. The problem is that most of us neglect capturing wonder in favor of productivity, efficiency, and hurry. Helping his readers develop a robust vocabulary of Christian imagination, Joel Clarkson gives us a feast for our senses. Theologically rooted, artistically curious, and reflective, Sensing God can help us learn again how to taste and see that the Lord is good.--Ashley Hales, author of Finding Holy in the Suburbs and A Spacious Life

Refreshing. Restoring. Reorienting. I love the way Joel Clarkson talks about God and life--reality--in his debut, Sensing God. He speaks a timeless language--my language, our language--and is in conversation with the great cloud of witnesses in the church now and throughout the ages. Clarkson accentuates the good, true, and beautiful in the reality of our lives and in creation, beckoning us to stop, look, listen, taste, touch, and hear for ourselves--to experience our triune God and the Kingdom with our whole being. The book itself is a feast because it is steeped in God's life. It is true and elicits joy. Through it, I have beheld God. It is a book for such a time as this, and I couldn't be gladder for it. I highly recommend it and look forward to more from Clarkson!--Marlena Graves, author of The Way Up Is Down

NavPress/Tyndale House

NavPress Publishing Group

Pub Date: January 12, 2021

0.6" H x 8.2" L x 5.5" W

224 pages