Is "Intimacy With God" A Biblical Idea?

Recently, I had the opportunity to review William Goodman's book Yearning for You: Psalms and the Song of Songs in Conversation with Rock and Worship Songs for the Review of Biblical Literature. I quite enjoyed reading the book and it both touched the nerve of and articulated clearly some of the potential theological problems inherent to modern Christianity's obsession over "intimacy with God," especially within the context of worship. I commend this book to all, especially those interested in worship, worship studies, and/or worship leading. You can get your copy HERE. As a preview, here's a paragraph from the full review, which you can download and/or read HERE.

One of the major insights garnered from this chapter, which is now exegetically sustained, is the reiteration that “The Song presents the delights (and occasionally the challenges) of a human sexual relationship, with no overt reference to God at all” (183), while the “Psalms present a desire for God which is not overly expressed in the language of eros or romance” (184). While placing the texts in conversation with one another shows that throughout the biblical canon “sexuality and spirituality are not divorced or opposed” (183), it also reveals that sexual-intimate language was used by the writers of Scripture to describe human-to-human interactions, not divine-to-human interactions. This insight, in my view, should cause those who compose modern worship songs and lead worship in modern settings, to tread much more carefully in how they describe the type of relationship Christians should seek and have with God today.

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