I was first introduced to Don Williams through a Vineyard Leadership Institute (VLI) course in 2005/2006. As I listened to him teach that day, I knew that he was one of those (unfortunately) rare individuals with a theologian scholar mind and a practitioner heart of compassion.
Since that day, I have had the pleasure to meet Don in person as well as to discover that he was the primary architect of the Vineyard Statement of Faith. I also fell in love with his book “Start Here” as it is one of the best (if not THE best) overview of this Christian walk that I have read.
Unfortunately throughout all this time there was one book of his that continued to evade me all the while tempting me through references and quotes. This long sought after book was one of Don’s first books published after he joined the Vineyard Movement in the mid-1980s.
Then one day this Summer the unthinkable happened…. Vineyard Resources decided to reprint the Moby Dick of Don Williams’ books – namely the classic book “Signs, Wonders and the Kingdom of God: A Biblical Guide for the Reluctant Skeptic.”
And, after reading said book (thanks by the way to CJ who blessed me with a copy!!), I have to say that I fully understand why this book is considered a classic in the Vineyard.
Using his life as a background, Don pulls the reader into the journey he took as God broken into his life and expanded his worldview. As such in some ways, this book is more of an autobiography then an ‘true’ theology book.
Granted, this is one of the true strengths of the book as theology should never be divorced from life. Instead we must walk out what we believe and allow the Lord to shape our lives through the Bible and theology (which, BTW, simply means the ‘study of God’). Don does this beautifully – interweaving his life story with the biblical concepts that helped shape his live and ministry.
“For the Bible, God is King and we are called into his kingdom where he wants to reign directly and dynamically in our lives and extend his reign through us to this hostile, fallen world. Only when we have been established in this biblical worldview both intellectually and experimentally, will be rid of our bias against miracles. In this way we will be prepared for God’s direct actions to break in upon us, even if, at times, we wish they wouldn’t.”