The Sacred Chase, Heath Adamson. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2020.
Summary: Using Jesus’ encounter with the demoniac who ran toward him, the author encourages us that as we pursue God, we may have the intimate relationship with God we desire.
There are many things we chase after in our lives. All these may distract us from the pursuit it is most worthy to chase after–the pursuit of God. Heath Adamson contends that the sacred chase is unlike any other we may pursue:
There is a mind-blowing, never-ending connection with God available to everyone right now. I am not necessarily talking about meeting God so you can go to heaven after you die. That is of primary importance, don’t get me wrong, for eternity is long, and your eternal salvation cost God all: his Son.
What I am referring to is the audacious pursuit of God and God’s reckless love for you–what I call the sacred chase. Perhaps you think of salvation in Christ like a door. Once you walk through that door, you will discover how unsearchable the love and promises of God are for you….Pursuing this is worth all your efforts. When deep connection and friendship with God is someone’s desire, I have never seen that someone walk away disappointed (pp. 12-13).
The author contends that we might know an intimacy with God that surpasses comprehension, but that we must choose to pursue it without hindrance or distraction. He challenges us to give up pursuing Christianity to pursue Christ–to move beyond institutions and agendas to pursue a person. He encourages us that God will welcome us from wherever we are coming.
In the remaining chapters of the book, Adamson centers his focus on the demoniac whose name was Legion. One of the critical observations is that the many, with all his wounds and torments, runs toward Jesus. He hears Jesus say, “what is your name?” Jesus gives him total liberation, sending the demons into pigs rather than letting them wander, and possibly return. He leaves a man clothed and in his right man, one who encourages the people in his town to also engage in the sacred chase, which they do the next time Jesus visits Gadara.
In between discussions of the narrative of Legion, Adamson illustrates principles with life stories and other narratives in scripture. He holds forth the question of will we pursue the intimacy with God that we long for and encourages us that we will be more than met in our chase.
Adamson writes well and compellingly. The only thing I found missing was the idea that as we pursue God, we will find that God has been pursuing us. Perhaps Adamson didn’t want to spoil the surprise, and he does encourage us that God will meet us. But the truth at least that I found was that the Lord was the “hound of heaven” pursuing me before I ever pursued him. I found myself thinking as I read this book, “who is chasing whom?”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
3 thoughts on “Review: The Sacred Chase”
Thank you for this review, Bob, and your reference to the Hound of Heaven, a poem and concept I have long loved. I’m reminded of the old romance joke that “he chased her until she caught him.” There is some holy mystery in the pursuit of God, and His pursuit of us. A holy dance in which He leads and bids us to rise and follow.
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