Personal God

FYI I’ve put out a new ebook edition of Personal God: Can You Really Know the One Who Made the Universe? 

It’s available on Amazon here for $2.99. It’s also on and (through them) should be on most other bookselling sites soon.

Personal God has an interesting history. Years ago (in 1986, to be exact) I published a book called Knowing the Face of God. The best way to summarize its success is: a few people liked it a lot. It sold only modestly, but even today I occasionally hear from people who tell me it was very helpful to them.

Just a few years ago, John Sloan called me. John is a friend and a long-term editor at Zondervan. He was editing  Philip Yancey’s book Prayer,  which included some extensive quotes from  Knowing the Face of God. That made him go back to Face and re-read it. John is a man of enthusiasms, and his call to me was very enthusiastic. He brought the idea of a simplified, condensed edition that eliminated some rabbit trails and concentrated on the main ideas.

I was skeptical. Editors and writers often feel that a book should have been better received, but it’s notoriously hard to revive a book. With so many good new books on the market, why would someone give a second chance to an old one? Nevertheless, John was insistent, and he convinced Zondervan to get behind the idea.

I ended up thoroughly re-writing the book. In doing so, I became moderately excited all over again. The book examines the classic evangelical phrase, “a personal relationship with God.” I raise doubts about whether that’s just talk, and whether there is anything really personal possible with the God who made the universe. I try to bring a new perspective and understanding to “personal relationship,” one that is both hopeful and truthful. That’s why a few people like it a lot. It poses questions that rarely surface in Christian circles, and it offers some answers. For people with doubts and questions, that can be very significant.

Then disaster struck. My friend Scott Bolinder was overseeing books at Zondervan, and he got fired. All of a sudden this special project, Personal God, became project non grata. Having lost its chief in-house supporter, it became an orphan. I knew the book was in trouble when two cartons of signed books arrived at my house, without explanation. When I had visited Zondervan in Grand Rapids, they had asked me to sign 100 copies to use in promotion. Now, having no use for them, they posted them to me.

All that work, and all that excitement, for nothing.

That’s why I’ve brought it back as an e-book. The book lives on.


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2 Responses to “Personal God”

  1. Bill Reichert Says:

    I bought the original but have to have the re-write as well, Tim. I just downloaded it.

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