I first became acquainted with Chris Webb when he was the president of Renovaré USA. For those unfamiliar with Renovaré, it is a Christian ministry “that models, resources, and advocates fullness of life with God experienced, by grace, through the spiritual practices of Jesus and of the historical Church.” Currently, Webb acts as Deputy Warden of Launde Abbey and Diocesan Spirituality Adviser to the Diocese of Leicester.
God-Soaked Life (InterVarsity Press – Formatio) is Webb’s second book, after previously releasing the delightful and beneficial The Fire of the Word in 2011, and it certainly lives up to his previous accomplishment.
God-Soaked Life takes the reader through seven chapter-sections each with four sub-chapters within, all pointing and progressing towards the aim of living one’s life in the presence of God and in the reality of the Kingdom. Webb reveals and emphasizes the significance of the Christian living in community. Living alert to the Kingdom and conscious of the ever-loving care and compassion of the Father, motivates the Christian to live with that same desire. A loving Christian community is the natural outworking of a God-soaked life.
Chris Webb beautifully articulates the deep meaning of living as the community of God, the church, here on the earth. Life is not a precursor to eternity. Life is not a waiting room before we get to Heaven. Life is the marvelous opportunity to live in the presence of Christ, furthering and continuing His ministry, His Kingdom, now.
A quote from the book that summarizes well the direction the author is leading the reader, comes near the end of the book: “To follow Jesus is to accept his call to participate in the gift of God’s kingdom realized in our own time and place, and so to live as members of the God-soaked community of love” (Webb 2017, 170).
Rather than simply defining or outlining how one should live, think, or act within the Kingdom, or God-soaked life, Webb also sympathizes and identifies some of the struggles and mistakes we all make as human beings. This establishes authenticity and credibility between the author and reader, but also allows for feasibility, user-friendliness, tangibility, and practical application into one’s life.
I highly recommend reading God-Soaked Life. It is an easy read (under 200 pages), but not lacking in profound communication and insight. Although the intriguing stories and illustrations keep the reader turning pages, I suggest reading this book slowly, prayerfully, and contemplatively. The magnitude of the transformation that a God-soaked life necessitates is worth the time and patience.
One characteristic of the book that I absolutely loved was the Scripture and Reflection pages, found at the end of each of the seven sections. These extra reflections allow the reader to not only engage the topic in a more profound manner, but also to provoke thought and behavior change. Don’t read past these. Take the time and effort to “soak” it all in.
Overall, God-Soaked Life was a thorough, comprehensive, and transformative look at what it truly means to live in the Kingdom of God right now.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary publicity copy from the publisher. (This in no way affected my honest review of the book)