Just finished reading Playing God by Andy Crouch.
Here’s my one-minute review:
“What’s ‘Playing God’ all about?”
Playing God is a book that explores the complex issue of power; its uses, abuses, and potential for redemption. Crouch’s overall thesis is that power is a gift from God that should neither be uncritically embraced nor fearfully avoided by Christians. True power, Crouch believes, holds tremendous redemptive potential when channeled through humanity’s deepest calling to be image-bearers of the true God. Playing God explores how corrupt and abusive power is always rooted in idolatry and injustice, while making it clear that Scripture provides us with an understanding of power that can lead to life and flourishing for all.
“Should I read it?”
Maybe. Given my personal passion for the topic (I devoted an entire chapter of my book Mere Disciple to the topic of power!), as well as the depth and breadth of Andy’s insights on this topic, I wish I could offer a yes without hesitation. However, Playing God is not a light read. It’s very dense in parts, and I’m not sure it’s quite as accessible as I would have liked. While Crouch does a remarkable job of dealing with a spectrum of issues tied to power, I’m not sure if Playing God would be a good starting point for someone looking to wade into the immensely important topic of power and our use of it. I would never discourage anyone from reading through Playing God, but if you pick it up just realize that it’s going to feel like work some of the time. That’s not the end of the world, but I could see some people not having the fortitude to push through some of the more philosophically dense chapters, and deciding to leave Playing God unread. Which would be a shame, because Playing God offers inspiring, uncommon, and dynamic insights into how Christians in all spheres of life should understand and use power.