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The Name Quest: Explore the Names of God to Grow in Faith and Get to Know Him Better Review by Melanie SchemanskiJohn Avery
The Name Quest: Explore the Names of God to Grow in Faith and Get to Know Him Better, is a softcover book written by John Avery. With over fifteen years of Bible research, Mr. Avery delves in to explain the significance of the many names or characteristics of God from His Word. The book takes over 500 names and titles to express every character of God and His being. I found it interesting that there are actually only two true personal names for God and these are Yahweh and Jesus. The others, the author states are really titles describing what God is like. Rather than list them as titles of God however, he simply chooses to call them all names for God. Many of these titles are merely descriptions as well. With twenty-three chapters, The Name Quest takes you on a deep adventure to discover the character of God.
The book attempts to take these vast characteristics and group them together thematically. Of course there is overlay, and even some repetition, as our God is just that great that He can’t be compartmentalized. This book is one where you read just a chapter or less so you can chew on it for a while. It is much more than a listing of God’s names. The author goes in depth to show each variation of the name and where it is found. For example, rather than just having “Lord of heaven and earth,” he also has, “God of heaven and earth,” “God in heaven,” and, “Go in the heavens.” These are all just slightly different. For $15.00 this book is much more a reusable tool, than a mere book.
Books line our home as homeschoolers, and treasures like this that are useful for both personal and school use are a gem. I would recommend this book for high school level as it is fairly deep in scope. It would work great on a personal level as a resource to do a study on the names of God, or even a specific name. It would also be excellent as a family read aloud and discussion time for a Bible style class. I chose to read it on my own, sharing on occasion a name I found interesting; quite often by blurting it out to unexpecting ears who had no clue what I was even talking about. I got excited about my new findings as I read this book. I also used this book for information to share with my co-op class. I was teaching a Bible journaling class to a small group of homeschoolers. We were learning some lettering, and artistic ideas for creating a Bible journal as well as a prayer journal. By sharing with them specific names of God, and the scripture references, they could then find that reference, and practice their unique lettering by using the character name given for God. We did focus on some of the familiar names that one would associate with God like Abba, God Almighty, El-Shaddai, LORD will provide, Jehovah Jireh, and Messiah. I enjoyed sharing with the group the vastness of the character of God through his names. The book really gave them an extensive look at how much more you can get out of the Word when you are looking for specific things like God’s character through His names.
This was an extremely resourceful book. I have yet to see such a complete, organized look at the character of God as John Avery presents here. It is great for personal use and for use in homeschool during devotions or a Bible style class. It would also lend itself to a class on creative writing utilizing the character of God. The only difficult thing for me was really having to clear out all other distractions, to understand clearly what was being written. It isn’t a book you can read with kids running around making noise, the dishwasher going, and the dog barking. It is meant to be an in-depth study and it surely is. It is also not geared for young kids and I would love if the author would consider an abbreviated version that would be helpful to middle school kids.
The Name Quest will remain in my library as a resource tool for myself and my children as they reach the high school level. I would absolutely purchase this book if I had not received it for review. I think it would be an asset to any Christian homeschool family.
-Product review by Melanie Schemanski, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016