After reading Krish Kandiah’s book ‘Paradoxology‘, I was keen to explore his next book ‘God is Stranger’ as he is not afraid of asking the tough questions of faith and the Bible. Krish takes the reader into the very parts of the Bible that often get overlooked. He even raises questions that I hadn’t considered which made it tough reading at times as I had to come face to face with parts of the Bible that I would often skim over because I didn’t fully grasp it or it didn’t seem to fit with my understanding of God.
I’m thankful that Krish is brave to go deeper and he is an excellent guide to have on the whitewater rafts of faith! He journeys through different individuals in the Bible and chapter by chapter, he raises the difficult questions and carefully examines the ‘why’ behind them. He does not shy away from the difficulties in answering them and writes clearly on some of the Bible’s more challenging themes.
The subtitle ‘What happens when God turns up’ may seem a bit strange in itself. Isn’t God always there from beginning to end? Krish looks at what happens when God turns up, often not being recognised or appearing a stranger, in the lives of different people throughout the Bible including: Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Gideon, Naomi, David, Ezekial, Mary and Cleopas. There’s a chapter about our role in welcoming the strangers in our midst today and addresses the fear or ‘stranger danger’ that we are brought up with. He challenges us to show hospitality to those who are not like us.
It’s a beautiful book on the importance of how God welcomes us whilst we were still strangers – alienated and separated by sin but brought into relationship with Him through Jesus. It’s a book with a message of showing that same hospitality to others with a focus on fostering and adoption, which is something that Krish is passionate about personally and professionally. It’s a book that shows that time and again God has shown up in unexpected times and places, challenging our understanding of who He is, but always bringing us into His purposes which includes welcoming those not like us.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has avoided the trickier parts of the Bible and therefore needs to have a closer look, for those who have questions about God’s character or faith in general, for those looking to extend welcome to others through hospitality and what that can look like practically and anyone who really wants to to go deeper into key stories in the Bible and be challenged and changed. It really will open your eyes, your mind and your heart and challenge you in ways that you might not expect.
Dr Krish Kandiah is Founder and Director of the adoption and fostering charity Home for Good, and a Vice-President of Tearfund. He is in demand as a speaker, consultant and social entrepreneur. He lives with his wife and seven children, including fostered and adopted children, in Oxfordshire, UK. Visit his website here: krishk.com