Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life's Decisions

J. I. Packer, Author, Carolyn Nystrom, Author . Baker Books $17.99 (270p) ISBN 978-0-8010-1303-4

Christians have long struggled over discerning where and how God leads in their lives, a “tense sensitivity” as described by Packer, an evangelical theologian, and Nystrom, a freelance writer who has collaborated with him before. The pair delves deep into the Bible and Christian tradition to reveal the many layers associated with God's guidance, a concept that “for many Christian people evokes both fascination and fear.” First comes a spiritual health checkup, because without spiritual health “things simply won't come right.” The keys to true God-given guidance come from reliance on God's teachings and commandments in scripture; spiritual wisdom; advice from godly friends; relevant models from the past; and, finally, the Holy Spirit. Each chapter is a thorough, logical and meaty discussion of the many dimensions of the subject, often addressing mistakes and misconceptions regarding how exactly God leads. God's guidance, the authors say, is part of his larger ministry to us. That guidance applies to every large and small decision, and peace comes when “the solution has been found.” Packer's books are not for folks looking for a quick fix, but for those eagerly searching for deep understanding and willing to read carefully. Added benefits are a discussion of situation ethics and some reflection questions. (Mar.)