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God Has a Name

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Many of us ache for relationship with God, yet feel distant and disconnected from him. As if hes more of an idea we believe in our head than a person we relate to. But God has a name: Yahweh. This one simple idea has the potential to radically alter how you relate to God, not as a doctrine, but as a relational being who responds to you in an elastic, back-and-forth way.<br /><br />Why Many of us ache for relationship with God, yet feel distant and disconnected from him. As if he’s more of an idea we believe in our head than a person we relate to. But God has a name: Yahweh. This one simple idea has the potential to radically alter how you relate to God, not as a doctrine, but as a relational being who responds to you in an elastic, back-and-forth way. Why do we feel this gap between us and God? Could it be that a lot of what we think about God is wrong? Not all wrong, but wrong enough to mess up how we relate to him? What if our “God” is really a projection of our own identity, ideas, and desires? And what if the real God is different, but far better than we could ever imagine? This book is a simple, but profound guide to what God says about himself. In his signature conversational-but-smart style, John Mark Comer takes the reader line by line through Exodus 34v6-8—Yahweh’s self-revelation on Mount Sinai—called by some scholars the one most quoted verse in the Bible, by the Bible. In it, we see who God says he is. It turns out, who God is just might surprise you, and change everything.


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Many of us ache for relationship with God, yet feel distant and disconnected from him. As if hes more of an idea we believe in our head than a person we relate to. But God has a name: Yahweh. This one simple idea has the potential to radically alter how you relate to God, not as a doctrine, but as a relational being who responds to you in an elastic, back-and-forth way.<br /><br />Why Many of us ache for relationship with God, yet feel distant and disconnected from him. As if he’s more of an idea we believe in our head than a person we relate to. But God has a name: Yahweh. This one simple idea has the potential to radically alter how you relate to God, not as a doctrine, but as a relational being who responds to you in an elastic, back-and-forth way. Why do we feel this gap between us and God? Could it be that a lot of what we think about God is wrong? Not all wrong, but wrong enough to mess up how we relate to him? What if our “God” is really a projection of our own identity, ideas, and desires? And what if the real God is different, but far better than we could ever imagine? This book is a simple, but profound guide to what God says about himself. In his signature conversational-but-smart style, John Mark Comer takes the reader line by line through Exodus 34v6-8—Yahweh’s self-revelation on Mount Sinai—called by some scholars the one most quoted verse in the Bible, by the Bible. In it, we see who God says he is. It turns out, who God is just might surprise you, and change everything.

30 review for God Has a Name

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I'm torn between really liking the content of this book and hating the style in which it was written. It reads like a book-length blog post, complete with single-sentence paragraphs, words and phrases in bold fonts, and super cheesy asides.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scott Curran

    Read this book. Then again and again until your eyes roll into the back of your head. If you thought you had a good idea of who God is... think again.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Enjoyed this book. Based on Exodus 34v6-8, it teaches about a relationship with God, and how He could be different than what we think or have been taught. I would recommend this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I can't say I was in love with the "bloggy" and blunt writing style, but then again, I did find myself smirking at the down-to-earth humor sprinkled within the pages. My reading and perceptions of Exodus 34 have been forever changed. An easy read yet challenging, thought-provoking, and convicting.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jerrod Griebel

    Brilliantly deconstructing Exodus 34:6-7, John Mark Comer introduces the reader to Yahwehs self-description in a way that shines a blindingly bright light on the character of Yahweh. Comers writing style is extremely conversational, which at times was a bit distracting, but in no way did it detract from the truth of his writing. <br /><br />Ive read many Christian living and theological books, but part of what struck me about this book was that I found myself thinking about its descriptions and explanations Brilliantly deconstructing Exodus 34:6-7, John Mark Comer introduces the reader to Yahweh’s self-description in a way that shines a blindingly bright light on the character of Yahweh. Comer’s writing style is extremely conversational, which — at times — was a bit distracting, but in no way did it detract from the truth of his writing. I’ve read many “Christian living” and theological books, but part of what struck me about this book was that I found myself thinking about its descriptions and explanations of God‘s character throughout various parts of my day. Especially in some of my harder moments, I was reminded of Yahweh’s self-description, and it helped center me back on the truth that I can trust Him. Christian or not, anyone could learn much from this book about the true character of Yahweh: “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness...”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claire Johnson

    GREAT content. Writing style kind of irked me but not enough to take away from the content.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Every Christian should read this book to learn more about the most quoted passage of the bible by the bible in which God describes himself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rhonnie

    Loved it. Some of the style/language got to me after awhile but he pointed things out in ways Ive never considered, and Biblically. I needed a book on Gods character and this is that. Will read again and again. Loved it. Some of the style/language got to me after awhile but he pointed things out in ways I’ve never considered, and Biblically. I needed a book on God’s character and this is that. Will read again and again.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aliza Latta

    Hands down the best book I have ever read. Without exaggeration, I can say that it changed my life and helped reshape the way I view God. I will be recommending this to everyone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    <b>Maybe the truth is that we want a God who is controllable because we want to be God. We want to be the authority on who God is or isn't and what's right or wrong, but we want the mask of religion or spirituality to cover up the I-wanna-be-God reality. </b><br /><br />Comer takes the verses of Exodus 34:6-7 for us to relate to God by his name of Yahweh. Why does God have a name, and what does his name tells us about him and what he is doing. At first, I wasn't sure which way Comer was going to go but right away Maybe the truth is that we want a God who is controllable because we want to be God. We want to be the authority on who God is or isn't and what's right or wrong, but we want the mask of religion or spirituality to cover up the I-wanna-be-God reality. Comer takes the verses of Exodus 34:6-7 for us to relate to God by his name of Yahweh. Why does God have a name, and what does his name tells us about him and what he is doing. At first, I wasn't sure which way Comer was going to go but right away he affirms who God is by not what he thinks of him but what the bible says. And it all starts with us desiring to see the Glory of God. I came to see that this phrase is God response to us as he is. In God's love, justice, mercy and his wrath. It is these attributes that we respond to the gospel and the culture. Our response is not what we feel is owed but who God is. We lose sight of the gospel when we make it about what has been done to us and what we are doing. Because God does have a name and his name gives us hope of the gospel, we can be a people of hope that gives hope. The text is done quite well and is very readable for all readers. He starts with a foundation of the mountain top that Moses experienced with God that we may experience God in his attributes. A Special Thank You to Zondervan and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Blair Easdon

    If youre like me, and youve wondered before how to relate to God, or what his response would be to your actions, or have struggled to grasp what God is ACTUALLY like - this is the book for you. <br /><br />Its a brilliant book that will reshape the dynamics of your relationship with God to be more true to his real character.<br /><br />Ive not before come across a book that discusses in such depth what God is like, so for me, this was a paradigm-shifting read, one I will certainly read again to deepen my understanding If you’re like me, and you’ve wondered before how to relate to God, or what his response would be to your actions, or have struggled to grasp what God is ACTUALLY like - this is the book for you. It’s a brilliant book that will reshape the dynamics of your relationship with God to be more true to his real character. I’ve not before come across a book that discusses in such depth what God is like, so for me, this was a paradigm-shifting read, one I will certainly read again to deepen my understanding of the concepts. I loved Garden City, and I quite like Comer’s writing style. I think the conversational tone makes it easier to follow along with the train of thought and flow of ideas. I also enjoy the humour and down-to-earth-ness of Comer’s writing. An excellent read that I thoroughly recommend to everyone. It should be required reading for all Christians - after all, most often the first thing you learn about a person is their name, so how do we expect to be in relationship with our God when we don’t even know his true name?! P.S. Many of the concepts discussed in this book tie in with sermons from the Practicing The Way series from Comer’s church, Bridgetown Church, especially ones about generational sin and others. Check it out at practicingtheway.org.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hope Miller

    What Yahweh wants is a living, breathing people to put his name on display. To show the world what he is like, not only by what we say, but by how we live.<br /><br />this book is amazing. it was recommended by one of my favorite authors (Jefferson Bethke, hes great and he also wrote one of the reviews in the beginning of this book). I honestly didnt expect to love it this much. its an instant favorite of mine! I love how John Mark wrote a whole book on just two verses in the Bible. the creative language and “What Yahweh wants is a living, breathing people to put his name on display. To show the world what he is like, not only by what we say, but by how we live.” this book is amazing. it was recommended by one of my favorite authors (Jefferson Bethke, he’s great and he also wrote one of the reviews in the beginning of this book). I honestly didn’t expect to love it this much. it’s an instant favorite of mine! I love how John Mark wrote a whole book on just two verses in the Bible. the creative language and to-the-point writing style captivated me. this is a book about God’s character and what that says about Him and how it then relates to us. there’s so much information and history packed into this book, it’s a theology book that isn’t a theology book. it keeps you engaged and I couldn’t put it down. I would definitely recommend, 10/10. i’m super jazzed about reading John Mark Comer’s other books now!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This book is a great read to wrestle with questions about who God is and his character. Ive been listening to John Mark on his podcast at Bridgetown Church and so I think that made me very comfortable with his conversational style of writing. I really like his sense of humour and the realisation that some (or lots of) elements of the bible seem insane on the surface level. I love the way he walks the reader through concepts in scripture and digs deeper for the meaning behind the language. I would This book is a great read to wrestle with questions about who God is and his character. I’ve been listening to John Mark on his podcast at Bridgetown Church and so I think that made me very comfortable with his conversational style of writing. I really like his sense of humour and the realisation that some (or lots of) elements of the bible seem insane on the surface level. I love the way he walks the reader through concepts in scripture and digs deeper for the meaning behind the language. I would highly recommend it as a book worth reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Anger

    This book surprised me with how bland the cover is, versus how rich and valuable the contents are. It was especially interesting to me to read this book after taking a class on Angelology/Demonology, as the author makes comments toward the beginning of the book about how little information we have about angels, and yet I had answers to some of the seemingly-rhetorical questions he asked. <br /><br />I appreciated how he dissected the original language in a way that was understandable, yet true to the scripture This book surprised me with how bland the cover is, versus how rich and valuable the contents are. It was especially interesting to me to read this book after taking a class on Angelology/Demonology, as the author makes comments toward the beginning of the book about how little information we have about angels, and yet I had answers to some of the seemingly-rhetorical questions he asked. I appreciated how he dissected the original language in a way that was understandable, yet true to the scripture writer's intent. I found myself rereading some of my favorite passages in the old testament with fresh eyes, aware now that they are quoting this well-known passage from Exodus 34, where Yahweh God reveals His truest identity. Whenever a book makes me love and reverence God more, I know that it is a book worth rereading and recommending to others.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Smith

    God does indeed have a name, and that knowledge should change everything we have ever thought about the nature of Him. He tells us who he is in Exodus 34v6-7 and Comer goes through this scripture line by line explaining all of it through the lens of the ancient Hebrew, in relation to other scriptures, and through what that should mean to us as followers of YHWH. <br /><br />I recommend this book to everyone who is curious as to the nature of YHWH.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Austin Hood

    Comer might be one of the most insightful theological thinkers of the age, for he takes centuries of debate and struggle with minutia and extracts what is important. This book addresses the most important aspect of humanity: how we think about God, and what our image of him is.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John

    Excellent read. John Mark Comer continues to open my eyes to new ways of thinking about our God and our purpose here on earth. Brilliant man who presents his ideas in a way that is easy to read and understand. Highly recommend to everyone regardless of where you are in your walk of life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ty

    This was one of the most refreshing theological books I have ever read. Comer presents some really interesting and thought provoking ideas and presents them in a very compelling and unique style.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Ruckle

    Terrific content written in a somewhat distractingly conversational style. Nevertheless, worth the read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Vincent

    Love his exposition of Exodus 33-34. Remembering how Gods name has so many implications for our lives, especially that God is a presence, real, living and active in our lives. We can speak to him as a friend like Moses! Love his exposition of Exodus 33-34. Remembering how God’s name has so many implications for our lives, especially that God is a presence, real, living and active in our lives. We can speak to him as a friend like Moses!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    John Mark Comer addresses the concept of who God is with pretty solid theology and a super great font. His end game is awesome, and something I would recommend that every believer read. I didn't find it to be a quick read- it was a bit long, hence the four stars. I would recommend this book to new believers or folks struggling with the big questions ("Why does God allow bad things to happen?" etc.) It's written for a broad audience, but it's hipster bent cannot be denied. Just look at the cover! John Mark Comer addresses the concept of who God is with pretty solid theology and a super great font. His end game is awesome, and something I would recommend that every believer read. I didn't find it to be a quick read- it was a bit long, hence the four stars. I would recommend this book to new believers or folks struggling with the big questions ("Why does God allow bad things to happen?" etc.) It's written for a broad audience, but it's hipster bent cannot be denied. Just look at the cover! I deeply appreciate that. It is good to know that books like this exist in the world.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Derek Harvey

    This book is a refreshing call to grapple with the character of God. We carry His name, so we should really understand and reflect the character of the name we carry. Read this book, and then re-read it. I certainly plan to.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Haley Mircheff

    It was definitely a good read! Wasn't life changing, but he makes really awesome points throughout the book!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel A. Dawson

    I absolutely loved this one. I'm a big fan of Comer (LOVED Garden City) and love that he's a One on the Enneagram like me (nerd alert) -- his writing style is just exactly what I love. Rich, deep, really honest and real, incredibly thoughtful and beautiful... just stunning and helpful and illuminating. This is one you must read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    John

    First, despite my three stars, I recommend this book. <br />I think it is a GOOD book, is it great... no<br /><br />Let's discuss the PROS:<br /><br />1.) Premise and Thesis: Around Exodus 34 is wonderfully done, it is creative and dynamic and just WOW I loved it. <br />2.) Comer is very personal and relate-able about his life, his shortcomings, he is authentic.<br />3.) Good use of humor an anecdotal explanations.<br />4.) Comer really does desire to think through ideas, words, meanings of the Bible and he does it well. <br /><br />CONS:<br />1.)Near the middle First, despite my three stars, I recommend this book. I think it is a GOOD book, is it great... no Let's discuss the PROS: 1.) Premise and Thesis: Around Exodus 34 is wonderfully done, it is creative and dynamic and just WOW I loved it. 2.) Comer is very personal and relate-able about his life, his shortcomings, he is authentic. 3.) Good use of humor an anecdotal explanations. 4.) Comer really does desire to think through ideas, words, meanings of the Bible and he does it well. CONS: 1.)Near the middle and end of the book there were little sudden hints of Comer's background theological impulses that appeared Calvinistic, and even total depravity. These parts I eeked a little because they were subtle and hiding amidst some real Gold. 2.) Sometimes I felt talked at, lectured to-- and though I feel Comer is authentic as said above, it was like my thinking is right on this, without any regard for other ideas. 3.) I felt the last half was common sense over the creative energy he wrote in the first half. Ultimately -- definite read the book if you are looking for Christian Theology with some creative flourish. by the way I am going to read his book on hope dealing with depression right away.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    Solid content. Comer is slightly more conservative then me and definitely more of a literalist. My only critique is that he sounds like a Rob Bell knock-off. It's a great blogger voice, but I have a hard time when reading an entire book like that.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kiana Dundore

    I love how this book focuses on things we don't normally think about and also the focus on God having a name and He loves us so much

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Lenzen

    A perfect short weekend read to say HEY, Jesus, what are you really about and how did everything about you actually start in the Old Testament?<br /><br />This book is about this passage, which is likely the most quoted passage in the Bible BY the bible.<br />Exodus 34:6-7 (ESV)<br /><br />6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and A perfect short weekend read to say HEY, Jesus, what are you really about and how did everything about you actually start in the Old Testament? This book is about this passage, which is likely the most quoted passage in the Bible BY the bible. Exodus 34:6-7 (ESV) 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” It's fascinating to discover that the way the Hebrew language translates points us to a copious amount of passages in the Bible that quote this verbatim, or a version of it (e.g. merciful = compassionate). So I was very curious to discover how this can illuminate what I know of who God is. Does God punish us for our parents' sins? Does God change his mind? Are bad things happening a part of the "will of God"? Are there other gods out there (lowercase g)? Do you take sin seriously enough? Have you ever grappled with God's anger and how that differs with how we get angry? These are questions for ourselves and belief system that we must ask if we are to labor for the harvest, to become more like him by knowing Him more. And this book touches on all of these things. While the writing style of this pastor is a BIT too colloquial, it's a book you shouldn't, and pretty must can't, read without the Bible next to you. Which makes it a winner :) Show us your glory, Lord! A few quotes - "In prayer, we are invited to join him in directing the course of his world." "Come to God not based on what you've done or what's been done to you but based on who God is -- based on his mercy." "Marriage is learning to forgive over and over and over again."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    I read this book as part of my church's volunteer leadership discussion group. <br /><br />Although I did enjoy this book, this was probably the first Christian book that I had lots of trouble in part because I disagreed with the way the author formulated certain things. For the most part, the author focused on Exodus 34:6-7 when the Lord God declared his true name and nature to Moses. So far so good.<br /><br />The problem I have is that Comer describes a God who desires a relationship with us humans, His creation, and I read this book as part of my church's volunteer leadership discussion group. Although I did enjoy this book, this was probably the first Christian book that I had lots of trouble in part because I disagreed with the way the author formulated certain things. For the most part, the author focused on Exodus 34:6-7 when the Lord God declared his true name and nature to Moses. So far so good. The problem I have is that Comer describes a God who desires a relationship with us humans, His creation, and then proceeds to characterize God as someone who can change his mind with the implication as if God doesn't know what he is doing. That's where Comer stops. Comer never corrects this insinuation. This flies in the face of other parts of the Bible which describes a God who has a plan, who never deviates, and never needs to learn something. Of course, the author is trying to come up with a formulation for readers who are not familiar with theology or even Christians in the first place. Comer presumes the reader who has never heard the terms predestination, sovereignty, lapsarianism, or any systematic theology books. Comer does ask the same questions Jews and Christians have been asking for millennia: just who is God? What is he really like? What I do agree with Comer is that God refuses to be bound human constraints. Jesus is not some proto-Communist but the savior of the world. God is creator. God is father. And at the end of the day, God wants to be our Heavenly Father - the ultimate provider and protector. On that, we're agreed on.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura Hiebenthal

    Can someone write an entire book--one that is thought compelling, interesting, and engaging--over just two Bible verses? Yes. That's what John Mark Comer has done. He takes the reader line by line through Exodus 34:6-8 in an attempt to answer the question "Who is God?" If you are anything like me, it is easy to hear a Bible passage you have heard many times before and think, "Oh, I know that one. Yawn." But this book opened my eyes to a familiar passage in a whole new way. I think I could feel the Can someone write an entire book--one that is thought compelling, interesting, and engaging--over just two Bible verses? Yes. That's what John Mark Comer has done. He takes the reader line by line through Exodus 34:6-8 in an attempt to answer the question "Who is God?" If you are anything like me, it is easy to hear a Bible passage you have heard many times before and think, "Oh, I know that one. Yawn." But this book opened my eyes to a familiar passage in a whole new way. I think I could feel the synapses in my brain connecting and firing (or exploding) with Comer's deep exploration of this passage and new ideas. I will never yawn through these two Bible verses again. Comer's writing has voice, humor, and humility. He breaks down the passage in understandable and relatable ways, often going back to the original Hebrew words and various translations. I am often guilty of speed reading, but for this one, I enjoyed slowing down and trying to digest and savor each chapter. It's one of those books that I will set aside and ponder for a few months, and then look forward to reading again. I am sure that on the second read I will pick up much that I missed on the first time through. There's just that much thought-provoking content. I will read it again with wonder and with a thankful heart for this book's reminder that we have a God who abounds in love and faithfulness.

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