Sunday, March 20, 2011


I recently received, "The Art of Being You", by Bob and Joel Kilpatrick, father and son. Artists, creative by nature, have written a book together about being the you, God, has created you to be. Throughout this book they examine the differences in an artistic based faith and a math based faith. I want to begin with the description of this book by Zondervan.


People are the artistic masterpieces of God—beautifully drawn, brilliantly scored, poetically rendered. The Art of Being You by Bob and Joel Kilpatrick will help you view God as artistic master rather than master mechanic, and see yourself as his finest work rather than as broken and in need of fixing. Your life will be transformed, and your relationship with God will change forever.

I heard a well-known Christian musician say at a concert that God was in the business of fixing broken people. I went home and thought about that for a while, and I came to a different conclusion... That different conclusion, reached by singer/songwriter Bob Kilpatrick, has some interesting and exciting applications for re-thinking what it means to be a Christian. Rather than casting God in the usual role as architect and great mechanic of the universe, Kilpatrick instead paints a portrait of God as an artist—passionate, visionary—who considers humankind his masterpiece. God doesn't see Christians as broken beings chugging along in a fixed-up life. He sees us as new creations, whole, complete, and a stunning part of his creative process. It's a powerful perception of God, one that determines how much we understand and enjoy God, which, in turn, affects the entire course of our lives. We'll stop perceiving God based on what we lack, what we need repaired, and how weak we are, and come to know God as a creator who sees each one of us as a work of beauty and value. If we believe our relationship with God is one of artist/masterpiece/creative process, then we have every reason to rejoice in every stage of that process. The Art of Being You offers every reason to believe that God is preparing us for an amazing heavenly display.

Of course as artists, the Kilpatricks will see God as an artist. He is. He is the Creator of all. As I writer I see God as an artist also, but I too see Him as a mathematician. Although this book is pointing us to a God who is creative and showing us we are His masterpiece, it too is filled with metaphors. It speaks of setting limitations for ourselves. I don't need limitations when I have a God who says "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 This book plays on words in math as the attitude we should not have, but for me, math is truth. Math is infinity and beyond. Math is certain and sure. Just and right as God is. Can you see I struggled with this book?

As I looked at reviews there are many who thought this was the best book they have ever read. Most gave it five stars. The lowest I saw was a three. That would be what I give this book. Yes, there are some wonderful points in this book that point us to see God differently. To challenge our senses. This father/son team used scripture throughout this book to show God is creative and we are His work. We are after all a work in progress.

Here are a few examples of how they compared a math based faith and an art based faith:

Math equates verses God creates
Facts are math verses  Faith is art
Law is math  verses  Grace is art
Evangelism is math  verses Friendship is art

You may pick up this book and love it! Praise God if you do. May God gain all glory when we ponder over thoughts and grow closer to Him by searching His Word. For me, it fell a little short of all I wanted it to be.

This book was a gift from Zondervan for it's review.

Bob Kilpatrick has been a professional musician and minister for more than thirty years and has written many songs, including the classic worship songs "In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified" and "Here Am I (Send Me to the Nations)." Bob speaks at hundreds of events around the world each year and has produced recordings for artists such as Phil Keaggy and Randy Stonehill. He also writes a popular column for Christian Musician magazine and his radio program, Time Out, reaches 4 million people each week. He and his wife, Cindy, have five grown children and live in Fair Oaks, California.

Author Website:

Joel Kilpatrick is the founder of the religion satire website and has been profiled in Christianity Today and Time. He earned an MS in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School in 1995 and won the Christian industry’s top humor award from the Gospel Music Association in 2005. He has authored and coauthored many books, including the satirical A Field Guide to Evangelicals and Their Habitat.

Author Website:


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