The Adventure of Discovering What God is Really Like
© 1960 Eugenia Price
Author of Woman to Woman, Discoveries, and Never a Dull
Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan All Rights Reserved
BT102.P7 ~~ Dewey: 231 ~~ LC: 60010240 ~~ OCLC: 3094202 ~~ 180p.
Strictly Personal* is presently held by 253 libraries including Boston College and the University of Oxford.
Table of Contents
1. The Universal Questioning 3
2. Can We Know God Personally? 9
3. What Is The Good News? 17
4. Does God Know Us Personally? 23
5. Is God Shockable? 33
6. What Is He Really Like? 43
7. Can God Understand Our Temptations? 55
8. Was Christ Tempted By Hungers Like Ours? 63
9. Was He Tempted By Ambition? 73
10. Was He Tempted To Prove Himself? 83
11. Does God Understand About Human Suffering? 91
12. What Is His Death To Us Today? 103
13. What Is His Life To Us Today? 119
14. What Is The New Birth? 129
15. What Is Conversion? 141
16. Have You Accepted Yourself As You Are? 155
17. Have You Accepted Christ As He Is? 169
Reference Notes 170
Recommended Reading 180
This book will make some readers uneasy. They will fail to find in it, perhaps, some of the familiar jargon of the evangelical world.
It is not written primarily for these persons, who have become so accustomed to a certain method of expressing God that they fail to recognize Him when He is spoken of or written about in the language of the average person. It is the deepest desire of my heart that everyone who reads will make a fresh personal discovery of God as they read. But I have written the book for those who, like myself a few years ago, have not yet considered the tremendous potential of the strictly personal relationship with Him.
In my own contacts with persons who are seeking peace with God, or who are merely seeking a way out of their troubles, I have been keenly aware of the lack of authentic Christian books written in a language which the sincere but untheologically trained person can understand. In Strictly Personal I have tried to write such a book.
God made a personal visit to this earth in order to reach people. All kinds of people, with all degrees of
culture and education or lack of it. He came so that anyone can discover what He is really like! This is not a book of techniques on how to live the Christian life. I have personally grown tired of these. It is a book about God Himself.
I have written it at the end of my first ten years as a follower of Jesus Christ. In it I have shared from my own continuing discovery of the nature of the One whom I follow. I have attempted to communicate in these pages with those who have become confused or frustrated by doctrinal explanations; who are, in their hearts, interested in God, but not in religion as such. I have attempted to communicate with those who have found themselves unable to cope with their lives, but are in doubt as to what to do next. I have written the book for persons who wander still in the half-darkness of indecision about what they really believe; for those who struggle under the dreadful weight of a distorted concept of the God who created them.
Fully aware of the risk of arousing the displeasure of the consciously or unconsciously dogmatic who may read, I have considered only those who still roam aimlessly outside the awareness of the love of God for each one of them.
The book will, I hope, also clarify Him for the new believers who have taken the step of faith but who still have no basic knowledge of what may lie ahead. I have not been unmindful, either, of those who are without assurance that their transaction with God is genuine and eternal.
During the ten years I have been a Christian, I have come to see some of the ways in which we who follow Christ are actually blocking those who do not. I have tried to undo some of the damage we have done in our ignorance, or our lack of understanding of the state of
mind and heart of a human being out of contact with his Creator.
While I did write Strictly Personal primarily for those who are new or still outside the personal relationship with Christ, it is in reality the attempted expression of my own philosophy of life, now that my life is linked with His. I must confess that it has not been difficult for me to express my beliefs as I have expressed them in this book. This is what I believe. And it is written in the way in which I best understand it. I have written from no spiritual pedestal. I am not a professional Christian. I am merely another human being, tremendously excited with the fact that God is discoverable to anyone! I hope I have not implied that I have discovered all there is to know about Him. Everyone is always just beginning. Through all eternity, it will be a continuing discovery.
Since it is impossible to write a book from all aspects of the truth at once, may I urge that no one draw a final conclusion pro or con until the entire book is read. I ask this of settled believers, new Christians and those who do not yet follow Him. I have tried to allow my philosophy of the Christian life to unfold, rather than to state it bluntly at the outset.
In the main, I have used scriptural quotations from the Berkeley Version of the Bible. There is, however, an occasional use of the King James version.
Some of the material in this book appeared in print in my column "Visit with Genie" in the magazine Faith at Work, 8 West 40th Street, New York City, and I am grateful for the permission to include it here.
My associate, Rosalind Rinker, to whom I have dedicated this book, has not only managed the mechanics of my manuscript with patience and skill, she has managed to keep discord and interruption at a minimum as I have written, and I am truly grateful.
To Mr. Peter deVisser, my realistic guiding hand at
the Zondervan Publishing House, to the booksellers and other friends who have encouraged me in the writing of this book, I must also say thank you.
To you who read I shall be constantly hopeful that you will join me in the glorious adventure of discovering what God is really like!
Proceed to Chapter One of the Book
"Can man by searching find out God?"
Long before Job, man was asking this question. It has stormed the minds and hearts of all peoples in all lands and cultures. What is God really like? Is He discoverable by those He created? Head-hunters in shadow-haunted Africa have tried to beat away their restless questioning. The same necessity to know forced the intellectuals of Athens at the peak of its classical glory to create with their minds their own gods. In man's primitive desperation to claim a knowing relationship with the Divine, gods have been fashioned after man's own image. There have been animal gods, bird gods, fish gods. God of wood and stone and marble and metal. More cultured civilizations have worshiped reason. A few sensed their limits and saluted an Unknown God. None found rest.
Is there one true God? Is He discoverable? "Can man by searching find out God?" Can anyone know God personally? On every page of this new and exciting book by Eugenia Price, these time-old questions are faced honestly and without apology. She writes lucidly, avoiding religious cliches, confessing her own questioning mind and including warmly all who question God for any reason. It is a strictly personal book which vibrates with the tremendous potential of the strictly personal relationship with God which she has found possible for herself and which she believes possible for anyone, regardless of background or intellectual blocks.
If you have been wondering if there is a God for you this is a book you can read without apology, rebellion or embarrassment. It is written especially for you. Your strictly personal questions demand honest and specific explanations. Generalizations will not do. Pious, pat answers will not do. They are not here. But the door to the realistic adventure of a personal discovery of God is here, and it can open for you as you think through the carefully unfolded chapters of Strictly Personal.
"This latest book by Eugenia Price will bring a refreshing breeze to the souls of many. The chapters come to grips with some of the most important truths that can ever concern us, and discuss them in language all can understand, with fervor, urgency and warmth." DR. WILBUR M. SMITH, Professor of English Bible, Fuller Theological Seminary
"One cannot escape the conviction as he reads Strictly Personal that Genie Price has been sent by God for 'such a time as this.' She makes sense to the one who though satiated is not satisfied, but does not know where to seek an answer for the deep hunger of his soul. Strictly Personal bridges the gap between the Good News in Christ and the one who is unimpressed because he equates Christian faith with mere respectability or with archaic symbols and heady theological mumbo-jumbo. Strictly Personal communicates. And the wonder of it is that coming through the familiar language is a profound sense of the exhilarating depths Genie Price is exploring. As she finds her way to God, her reader 'goes along' irresistibly, and without having to borrow from her experience second hand, he comes face to face with the same realities Genie met. Strictly Personal is a sure word for a very unsure age. It may displease some who insist on the truth being served up in the weary jargon, but it will greatly assist those whose empty lives cry out for the inexhaustible resources available in Christ." DR. RICHARD C. HALVERSON, Pastor, Fourth Presb. Church, Wash., D.C.; Assoc. Exec. Director, International Christian Leadership; Vice President, World Vision, Inc.
"In Strictly Personal, Miss Price touches the very core of human need and behavior. This she does with a new and deeply penetrating insight which some may find disturbing, but she does it with an understanding heart. Her book is refreshingly different in the unfolding of a realistic solution for the problems of the non-Christian. For courageous Christians, she offers the challenge of a new and realistic approach to their basic beliefs." CAPTAIN CAROL M. WILLIAMS, United States Air Force
"Strictly Personal should be required reading for everybody: dedicated Christians, backsliders, and atheists. It is an exciting adventure...." CHARLES URQUHART, Radio and Television Director, New Jersey Council of Churches
"Especially impressive is this Strictly Personal answer to so many of life's pressing problems. 'Must reading' for even the busiest of people who must deal with the problems of temptation, pain and death." ELDINE L. KENNIKER, M.D., The Sheboygan Clinic, Sheboygan, Wis.
EUGENIA PRICE is known and loved across the North American continent not only as an author, but as a colorful speaker and radio personality. She produces her own transcribed radio series, "Visit with Genie," heard coast to coast in the United States. She is a regular columnist for Faith at Work magazine and writes frequently for other leading evangelical publications. Most important, however, is the fact that she herself is proof of the transformed life about which she speaks and writes so glowingly and practically.
Genie Price was writing network radio scripts in 1939 at the age of twenty-three. She was a successful day-time and night-time scripter until 1945 when she began also to produce transcribed package programs from her own office, Eugenia Price Productions, in Chicago. In 1949, after her conversion, she closed her office and became writer-producer for Chicago's top rating dramatic program, "Unshackled," a position she resigned after five years in order to devote more time to the writing of books. Strictly Personal is her seventh book and each of her first six has been a religious best seller.
My Partner in the Continuing Discovery
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*The same text of "Strictly Personal" was also published under the title, "What Is God Like?"
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