My Book Review: “Closer than Close” by Dave Hickman
While reading the book “Closer than Close” by Dave Hickman, I found myself on a roller coaster of emotions. I must admit, when I started the book I thought it was going to be a slow read. Once I delved into Hickman’s story, however, I couldn’t help but highlight areas of this book while shaking my head in agreement.
His personal story of struggling to understand what it means to be in union with Christ is raw, authentic and will challenge you regarding the difference between being in relationship with Jesus and in union with God. It helped me understand why my own spiritual life has felt dysfunctional at times. Hickman puts into words some of the things I have had difficulty expressing verbally in my relationship with God.
I appreciated his explanation in Chapter 5, “Union to Disunion: Who We Were and What We Lost.” This chapter demonstrated for me what humankind truly lost when we first fell out of union with God. Hickman states on page 58, “Rather than abiding in the love they already shared with God, Adam and Eve exchanged their union with God for that which they considered to be better, more pleasurable. They lustfully traded in the love of God for a lie, thereby breaking their union with God”. Hickman gave me a better understanding of the effect Adam and Eve’s choice had on all of creation.
Then in Chapter 6, “Reunion to Perfect Union: Who We Are and What Will Be”, Hickman shares the hope and restoration of union with God through the birth of Jesus. “ In this way, Jesus not only serves as an atoning sacrifice for our sin on the cross, Jesus Christ is the at-one-ment uniting humanity and divinity within himself” (pg.67) I also appreciated the analogy Hickman uses of Satan being the bully to creation. (pg.76).
The truths shared in this book will make you want to examine your own union with God and challenge you to think more deeply about it. I found the questions at the end of each chapter to be very thought provoking. They allowed me to understand my own personal union with God better while challenging me to sort through my thoughts about it. It made me feel uncomfortable in a good way!
If you have ever felt less than adequate in your relationship with Jesus, I would encourage you to explore the journey into union with God. Hickman’s personal experience will encourage you to seek it, along with the true reward of understanding how close you really are to God.
I enjoyed Hickman’s style of writing and his ability to interject humor, personal experience and complete honesty at just the right time. The only way you will be disappointed in this book is when you are done reading it, but that is because by the end of the book, Hickman becomes your friend and mentor from whom you want to continue to learn.
“Closer than Close” gives a vison of what unity among believers should look like, and what it really means to be one in Christ. One of my favorite quotes from Hickman appears on page 167, “But in order to see unity among believers, we first have to awaken to our union with Christ. For our union with one another is not something we pursue, it’s someone we are united to – the living breathing person of Jesus Christ. “
I chose to give this book five stars because I believe every person who calls him- or herself a Christ follower needs to be challenged by the truths of this book. Take the time for an introspective look at your own personal union with God. It may not be what you think or what you have been taught. My soul has been awakened!
[FCC Compliance: Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review]