Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides - eBook  -     By: Tony Kriz
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Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides - eBook

Thomas Nelson / 2015 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780849964046
ISBN-13: 9780849964046

Publisher's Description

"God, are you there?" is a near universal cry of the human heart.

We have all longed for God to be tangible. Some might sway to worship music, others go on missions, others fast from food. The universal quest is to feel the divine . . . and yet the divine seems aloof, even shy. In this narrative-driven book, Tony Kriz leads the reader on a journey of “orchestrated epiphanies” along the eternal quest to tangibly encounter God, including the unpredictable moments that give us hope, and even more so, the long gaps between those moments that challenge our faith.

Written in an authentic, conversational style,Aloof is easily accessible to those who don’t know much about the Bible, yet the message is still theologically informed and culturally relevant. This book will help you process how God acts uniquely towards us, depending upon each stage of life. The chapters include contemporary real-life stories that normalize the experience of an often hidden God, while also aiding the reader to acknowledge the very real moments (rare though they may be) when God has shown up in a tangible way.   

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Exploring narrative spiritual formation
    March 15, 2015
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides.
    God hides, Kriz writes. It is just a reality.

    The event that precipitated Kriz writing this book was the illness of his nephew. He wanted God to be very much present for his nephew in the time of intense need. Kriz began to journey through his own encounters with God and seasons of silence. This book is the result.

    Kriz finds value in stories. They are the foundation of our beliefs. This book follows the pattern of narrative spiritual formation, exploring God memories and telling stories as it relates to belief. Kriz specifically looks at his own experiences around the question of God's presence.

    Through his own experiences, Kriz explores the character of God, as a being with a will, emotions, as a communicator, as aloof. Included are stories of his seeking that illusive something he felt missing in his Christian experience. He was so frustrated he decided to believe no longer. Then he went to college and became an avid Jesus follower, finding that God spoke to him through others. He continues with missionary experiences, his God encounters and his spiritual meltdowns with refreshing honesty. He explores what on our end keeps us from communicating with God.

    Kriz has concentrated his writings on the times we so badly want God to be present in a way we can sense, desiring His comfort, His strength, His comforting hand, yet feeling that God remains silent. He ends his book, For now, I am still left with my questions, doubts, and confusions.

    The concept of narrative spiritual formation is new to me. I come from an older generation of believers who considered our experiences, our stories, to be rather irrelevant when compared to what God has said in His Word. I have always felt that the mystery of God's promise to be near and my lack of sensing that nearness is a problem on my end, not God's.

    Younger believers who find major significance in their spiritual experiences may appreciate this book more than I did. They might find Kriz's honesty in relating his spiritual experiences a springboard to investigating their own.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  2. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    God be with us, and with the world...
    February 4, 2015
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides.
    This is a book about...

    No, wait.

    The whole point of "Aloof" is that people's lives, stories, and faith aren't easily categorized, predicted, or defined.

    So, let's say this book is a collection of musings, by a guy named Tony Kriz.

    They're born out of a simple request: God, please be present with my suffering nephew as he battles cancer.

    As Tony thought about the core of his prayer- God, I want you to show up here- his brain took him many places.

    It took him to the only thing he's sure of- the ways God has shown up for him personally.

    This is a book about the hiddenness of God.

    It's about the barrenness that God will let a soul experience.

    It's about One who is utterly trustworthy, and entirely mystery.

    The stories are strange- "unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand"- and bittersweet.

    They're his memories. And they're made of words that cleansed and words that shamed, friends who stayed and opportunities that were lost, moments when Glory came so close is stole his breath, and moments when despair seemed too light a word.

    "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

    ~Frederick Buechner

    That's what Tony has done. He's unfolded his memories and spread them out in the Sonlight.

    It's a read that will hook you and keep you. Along the way you'll be led to ponder things such as the concept of community within the Lord's prayer, the betrothal metaphor vs. the marriage metaphor, and the need for holy creativity as we speak about Jesus.

    Thank you to BookLook, and Thomas Nelson for my review copy.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Real, Raw, and Vulnerable
    January 24, 2015
    Christy Bower
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Aloof: Figuring Out Life with a God Who Hides.
    Have you struggled with God seeming far away? Are we really meant to meander through life with little or no contact with the God we supposedly follow? Author and speaker Tony Kriz takes readers on a journey to explore questions like these. Id have to say its a journey worth taking with Tony.

    I am proud to say I went to seminary with Tony Kriz. Tony has a unique writing style, which I envy. He calls it a spiritual memoir. He reminisces through a lifetime of spiritual memories and identifies the formative effect they had on his spiritual beliefs. In fact, Tony encourages the reader to evaluate his stories as practice for evaluating their own.

    Aloof is not a book of pat answers. Tony raises more questions than he answers. Its normal to have questions, doubts, and struggles in our faith life and Tony embraces the dissonance better than anyone I know. He values spiritual conversations where people can share their faith stories.

    Tonys stories are real, raw, and vulnerable. I found myself rooting for him along the way. But I also found his stories disturbing because they conjured up memories of my own storiesthose raw, unedited moments in my spiritual development. It was disturbing because it forced me to confront my own experiences and evaluate whether Ive been honest about the spiritual dissonance in my life or whether I settle for the pre-packaged answers of a Christian heritage. Now I want to unpack my newly discovered box of spiritual memories. One by one, I want to let my spiritual memories see the light of day so I can see my memories with all their blemishes and stains. Aloof is going to have a long-lasting impact on my life.

    The one caution I would offer readers (because I know Tony already has a grasp on this) has to do with the possibility of letting our experiences dictate our beliefs above the Bible. The truth of the Bible is always going to be more reliable than personal experiences. Any difference between the Bible and our experience is merely one of those areas of dissonance Tony urges us to explore rather than push aside.

    I applaud Tony Kriz for sharing his most vulnerable spiritual experiences with unvarnished realism. The Christian community has rarely been willing to embrace the messy process most of us experience in trying to follow God. They want answers that fit in orderly cubby holes or 3-point outlines.

    Tony teaches us, by example, to see the power of storyour testimoniesin shaping our lives and dialogues. We need many more discussions along these lines. Thanks, Tony.
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