About the Book
Book: Back to God
Author: Tim Witte
Release Date: January 27, 2020
Back to God: The Journey of Hope through a Broken World is a timeless, grace-filled message from the Bible to bring us back to God.
Sometimes we long not for escape but to find our way in the midst of the questions burning in our minds. Who can I trust? Do I have meaning? What hope do I have?
In a society where nothing is permanent, technological advances increase our sense of vulnerability, and relationships come and go, we long for one unchanging element in which we can trust and rest in wholeheartedly without fear. We long for hope. Author Tim Witte conveys just that with Back to God, offering foundational principles from the timeless truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ:
- the message of unfailing hope that meets us in our broken world
- a promise from the only one who cannot lie and who will not fail
- a powerful word from God to bring us back to God
Back to God is neither academic nor profoundly apologetic but is a truthful, down-to-earth dialogue filled with illustrations that will resonate with readers who long for true answers from the Bible for life’s biggest problems.
Click HERE to get your copy!
About the Author
Writer and veteran Bible teacher Tim Witte holds a bachelor’s in Bible and Greek from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and studied computer science at Austin Peay State University. He lives in northern Indiana with his wife of thirty years. They have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandsons. Tim enjoys teaching Bible classes at his church, woodworking, barbecuing, and spending time with family.
More from Tim
If I Should Die Before I Wake
Next to a chainsaw, the most dangerous tool you could find in my hand is a rhyming dictionary. The good news is I have not touched a chainsaw for months. The bad news is I recently dusted off New Rhyming Dictionary and Poetry Handbook. My subject is prayer so maybe, with much prayer, I can do more good than harm.
A Child’s Prayer
Writing Back To God made me reflect on the people and events God used in preserving my life and leading me to faith in Christ. Though I did not have a clear understanding of the gospel as a child, my parents laid a good foundation with biblical truths about God and myself. One of my earliest memories is of my Mom stooping beside my bed and having me repeat this prayer:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
That nightly routine and the words of that little prayer helped establish a Godward orientation to my life. Not every child receives that. I learned some vital truths at a very young age:
- I learned I could pray to God. What a concept! Many PhDs have not figured that out.
- I learned I was not ready to go to sleep until I had said my prayers. I don’t speak of praying in that way now; it sounds more ritualistic than personal. Yet, it conveyed the priority of praying to God.
- I learned that God could protect me, but I should not presume upon that protection. I should ask for it.
- The third line presents the possibility of death. It would have been bizarre and borderline cruel if, night after night, my mother had said, “Now remember Timmy, you might die in your sleep. Good night!” However, prayer is serious business, and I can talk to God about the scariest stuff.
- Additionally, I learned my eternal destiny was not to be taken for granted; it was to be a matter of prayer. Ultimately, God would decide where I ended up.
As one would expect, my prayers became more varied and improvised as I matured. For most of my adolescence, I continued a somewhat sporadic pattern of prayer at night.
However, the time came while in the Army when I ceased to pray. I recount some of this in Back to God. My life was a sinful mess. The last thing I wanted to think about was what happens “if I should die before I wake.” For prayer to be possible one has to have hope, but I was hopeless. Prayer would only be reawakened in me when another soldier brought me God’s message of hope.
Interestingly, my evangelist started the conversation by asking, “Tim, do you know where you would go if you died tonight?” From there, he proceeded to share the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That prompted me to read the Bible, and particularly the book of Romans. I was overwhelmed by the astonishing message of God’s grace. Then the flame of prayer was reignited when I read, “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Rom. 10:13). God heard my cry that day, and now I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and teaching me to cry, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:15).
So recited prayers can be powerful tools for instructing small children about themselves and God. Such prayers may help them form a daily habit of praying. However, only the gospel has power to kindle the eternal flame of prayer in our hearts.
A Responsive Prayer
You may want to take cover now as I am about to wax poetic. Understanding the role that prayers can have in teaching important theological truths and the necessity of the gospel to ignite prayer in the heart, I recently composed a responsive bedtime prayer for my daughter and son-in-law to use with their young sons. I patterned it after the prayer my mother taught me, but I filled it with gospel hope.
As I lay me down, I pray,
Thank you Jesus for this day.
By your grace forgive my sin,
Make me true and clean within.
Holy Jesus guard your sheep,
For you died our souls to keep.
Keep us trusting in your grace,
Till we see you face to face.
Concise and engaging, Bible teacher and author Tim Witte’s “Back to God: The Journey of Hope Through a Broken World” provides an overview of the Gospel for both believers and unbelievers alike. Particularly this year, with the increasing chaos and turmoil of the pandemic and the internecine political climate in America, works of nonfiction such as “Back to God” speak to the tumult within our own hearts and remind us of the proper object of our focus. As Witte writes, “The only reliable path to follow on our journey back to God is the one he has laid out for us in the Bible.” He goes on to provide a detailed description of the story of salvation, explaining how it began in the Garden of Eden and culminated in the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus. While his writing is relatively easy to understand, I think that it might be overwhelming for someone who is not a Christian to try to read it on their own. In this case, I would highly recommend reading it with someone who is a knowledgeable Christian. As for Christians who read this book, I still recommend reading it with at least one other person so as to discuss each chapter along the way and to strengthen their own faith.
Overall, I think that “Back to God” is worth the read. While short, this is not a book to hurry through. I would encourage readers to read the book slowly and deliberately in order to truly grasp the Gospel message. Witte, I am pleased to say, makes liberal use of Scripture verses along with various studies and resources, leaving them at each footnote for easy reference. This enhances the book’s credibility and, anticipating possible argument, rises it above simply being one man’s interpretation or beliefs. Something that caught my attention brings to mind the fact that God is so incredibly merciful in His desire to save us from our sin and rebellion: “Man’s soul is already immortal. Eternal life is the infusion of spiritual life into the soul that has been dead from birth. It fits us for communion with the eternal God.” One issue that I did have with the text, however, was in the chapter entitled is “A Higher Mountain,” in which the author states that Jesus was a prophet and that He became divine by being raised from the dead. Both statements are false; Jesus was not a prophet, and He didn’t become divine by dying because He was already divine. Elsewhere, Witte makes clear these points, so perhaps I am misinterpreting his intentions with this incident. Throughout the book, Witte makes use of contemporary lead-ins before transitioning into the Biblical point upon which he is expounding, and I appreciate this as a way not only to hopefully draw more readers in, but also to demonstrate how the Bible never ceases to be relevant.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 27
For the Love of Literature, July 28
Artistic Nobody, July 29 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, July 30
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 31
Simple Harvest Reads, August 1 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, August 2
My Devotional Thoughts, August 3 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, August 4
For Him and My Family, August 5
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 6 (Author Interview)
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 7
Mary Hake, August 8
Blossoms and Blessings, August 9 (Author Interview)
God is Love, August 9
To celebrate his tour, Tim is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.