On my flight out to Indiana, for The Gospel Coalition Conference, I brought my copy of Alive in Him by Gloria Furman. Coincidentally, the theme of the conference plenary sessions was unpacking the book of Galatians. And, here I find myself reading about it’s neighboring book Ephesians.
Alive in Him is an exploration of the book of Ephesians, and was designed to be read along side an open Bible. I’ve been a fan of Gloria Furman for quite some time, and I love her intelligent writing style. She tackles the Scriptures beautifully without underestimating the readers ability to comprehend. Yet her written word flows with grace, beauty, and femininity.
You can tell that Gloria Furman loves the Word, and desires her readers to understand the depths of God’s promises to His children of redemption. Then she takes this information and packages it in a way that makes it relatable to our every day life… what does this mean to me today? How do Paul’s letters to the Ephesians matter in the world, city, and church that I live in today? What do these letters mean to my personal life and circumstances?
So why read Alive in Him? If there is anything that I can say comes through Gloria Furman’s writings and interviews is that she has a deep love of God. It’s not lip service, but genuine and infectious… you want the world to see that same level of love for God in your own life. However, we must each come to that place on our own … where we truly “get it”. That is why you should read this book, because Furman desires for you to see God’s tremendous love for you in the same way she does.
This walk through Ephesians presses you not just into how Furman perceives the text, but sends you directly to the Word for your own participation in the conversation. She shares her wisdom and what she has learned, but challenges her readers to view the text and experience it for themselves. This isn’t a one way teaching, with a professor standing at a lectern. Instead you are almost transported to her living room, as if you have been invited to Small Group at the Furman house.
Her approach is kind, loving, and graceful as she unfolds the Scriptures before you.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is:
“The Holy Spirit will not allow you to live satisfied on the rubbish heap; he will nurture a longing for the City of God to beat in your heart.”
~ Gloria Furman, Alive in Him
And I think that quote really does justice to the theme of the book, to help you fulfill that desire to have the “City of God” beating in your heart. If that is your longing, this book is a great start to put you on the path.