Life Within Limits


YOU’RE ONLY HUMAN: 
How your limits reflect God’s design and why
that’s good news.
By Kelly M. Kapic
Brazos Press. 261 pages. £16.99 (hardback)
ISBN 978 1 587 435 102

Some books are like tasty snacks, others are more like a substantial meal, but this book is like a feast, a smorgasbord of good things to delight the eye, inform the mind and nourish the soul.

The book is about coming to terms with our limitations by remembering our creatureliness and learning to develop a healthy sense of dependence.

This theologically rich book helps the reader see that human limitations are not necessarily a result of our sinfulness, but rather a result of being a creature who is dependent upon God.

The author demonstrates this by carefully laying out a theological feast, with ingredients drawn from a wide range of theological traditions. This displays a generosity of mind and a creative curiosity that guides the reader to sample tastes that might not be immediately obvious.

There is something wonderfully liberating about this. It frees us from constantly beating ourselves up for what seems like underachieving, liberates us from the treadmill of unrealistic expectations, and allows us to rest in the reality of who we are as creatures made in the image of God.

I like the way that, in the noble tradition of works like Augustine’s Confessions, the author weaves theological reflection with personal narrative and pastorally sensitive application.

What impresses me most about this book is what emerges in the six pages of acknowledgements; it is full of people. It is testimony to the author’s awareness that to be truly alive we need to cultivate relationships with both God and people. The author also informs us that this book has been 20 years in the making; it shows. This is not fast-food theology that briefly fills the reader, but a feast upon which we can graze in a leisurely way. Accept the invitation to dine with this author and it will be a meal that you will not forget in a hurry.

‘God has made us to be limited creatures, able to freely participate in his work, confident in his presence, and grateful for his promises and provision. Let us appreciate the goodness of our finitude as we rest in the love and provision of our infinitely good God. May it be so.’

Amen to that!

John Woods

John Woods, en Reviews Editor and Training Director, School of Preachers http://www.schoolofpreachers.org