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God with Skin on – Finding God’s love in human relationships

Morehouse Publishing, 2009

RRP: $34.95

 Rev Mel Perkins is Families Minister at Aspley Uniting Church .


  The author starts her introduction with the story of the little boy who needs “God with skin on” to help him through his night-time fears.

We all need “God with skin on” in our lives, myself included, which is why I jumped at the chance of reviewing this book.

I found that the author’s basic premise is that we, particularly those of us who profess to be Christian, all need to be aware of how we often represent God for others, whether we are aware of it or not.

Further, she writes, we need to be intentional in being God for others – “You might be the only Jesus/God some people ever meet”.

This is how we live out our call to be the Body of Christ.

This understanding is not particularly new; many have spoken and written on this before.

But there are a number of things about God with Skin On that would cause me to recommend it to others.

I loved the Ms Robertson’s thoughtful and insightful way of writing –her writing displays honesty and humour.

I found it a seamless mix of theology, personal stories, stories about others, biblical stories and psychology.

The writing is natural and almost casual at times, as though it was a discussion over coffee.

The chapters are structured in a way that takes us from our family of origin out into the world of school and work.

Different chapters deal with siblings, authority, parents, intimate partners, and friends.

In this way, Ms Robertson seeks to demonstrate how we represent God in different ways in different types of relationships.

At the end of each chapter is a set of discussion questions that would be useful if reading the book with a group.

Ms Robertson looks at our relationships with the animal kingdom, virtual relationships and relationships with the spiritual world – three areas which are important in many people’s lives but ones that are not given perhaps as much emphasis as human relationships (except our relationship with God, of course).

I think God with Skin On would be an interesting book for a group study, or even a whole congregation study, but it can easily be read alone.

It certainly provides much food for thought.