Jen Wilkin’s book, None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us, offers us an opportunity to think about God. This book discusses the ten attributes of God in a way that is understandable and engaging. While many discussions about God can be shrouded in complicated and undefined theological terms, Wilkin’s book defines the terms that we commonly use to talk about God. Furthermore, Wilkin presents the content in a way that encourages reflection and at times calls us to correct our problematic and inadequate ideas about God.
But with theology, a definition isn’t always enough. In addition to helping her readers understand what the theological terms for God mean, she also helps them understand what God’s attributes mean for our lives. In effect, she helps us move beyond the who and what to the why and how. If we want to walk with God, we need to know him as he has revealed himself.
Key Benefits of Wilkin’s Book
Wilkin’s style of using examples from her own life makes this book relatable. We are able to see how the attributes of God make a difference in our daily lives. When we rightly recognize God’s attributes, we desire to respond with worship and obedience. Her own story of discovering that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom is a helpful perspective in a culture that claims that truth is relative.
It’s one thing to know God is omniscient or omnipresent. But it’s another thing to understand why that matters to us and to unpack the ways that we often futilely grasp at these same characteristics in our own lives. Wilkin’s ability to move beyond definitions of God’s attributes to show us our sinful attempts to be like God is one of the strengths of this book.
Format of None Like Him
The length and format of this book are ideal for group discussions. At the end of each chapter, Wilkin includes a list of scriptures that show us the biblical context for God’s attributes. It’s worth taking time to read and meditate on these passages.
Following the verses for meditation are questions for reflection. Since we’re talking about such a significant topic as God’s characteristics, stopping to think about how God’s attributes impact our lives is key. We don’t want to just read about God’s identity and not assess how we should respond. Or as James 1:23-24 puts it: Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
After the reflection questions, there is an opportunity to respond in prayer. While the prayer section could be used by an individual who has read the book, it is also helpful for guiding a small group to respond to God in prayer.
How We Used Wilkin’s Book
In my church, we used this book for our weekly women’s group meeting. We would read a chapter at home and come together to discuss it. The content of each chapter provided a helpful framework for our conversations, and the material at the end of each chapter led to some great exchanges as we talked about who God is and how he is different from us. The verses, reflection questions, and prayer guides were also useful and led to some rich times together.
If you have a group of women who want to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God, I would recommend this book. Not only will they find a solid presentation of God’s attributes, but they will be awed by who God is and challenged to walk humbly with him.
What books have you read recently that would make a good resource for a women’s group?