You know as well as I do that you are a finite being. Yet you know as well as I do that at times you fight against your finitude, you battle against your inevitable limits and boundaries as if they are a problem to be overcome or even a sin to be repented of. Yet what if your limits are not a bug but a feature of your humanity? What if these limitations are God’s gift and, therefore, good and worthy of embrace? These are the kinds of questions Kelly Kapic wants you to consider through his new book You’re Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God’s Design and Why That’s Good News.
There is something deep in the heart of humanity that prompts us to rebel against our finitude, against the reality that we are dependent creatures who cannot exist for a day, or even a moment, apart from God. The very first sin was a rebellion against limits God had imposed on humanity and in some way that was the prototype for every sin that has followed. But what if we were to see that dependency upon God is a gift, not a deficiency? What if we were to go farther and actually embrace our limits and thank God for them, then live at peace with all the things we cannot do and cannot be?
In this book, Kapic says he wants “us to take time to carefully think about our creatureliness. This will reveal limits, dependence, love, reliance on the grace of God, and worship. We will examine the joy of being a creature and the freedom of resting on the promises of the Creator. We will question harmful and unrealistic ideals and begin to appreciate the messiness of our complex lives.” It is only when we come to see the sheer goodness of our limitedness that we can begin to relate properly as finite creatures before an infinite Creator and “worship him as he made us: dignified, purposeful, vulnerable, finite creatures. We do not apologize for our creaturely needs and dependence on others, for we discover this is how God made us, and it is good.”
Kapic makes it clear this book is a passion project, the culmination of many years of reflecting on the subject of finitude. That passion and depth of reflection is obvious from cover to cover and leads to a book that deep in its theology and profound in its teaching. It is at once comforting and challenging. Sinclair Ferguson summarizes it well when he says, “no hastily prepared, cheap-fix antidote, You’re Only Human is the product of years of reflection and concern, the work of a mature Christian theologian and a fine teacher. It is a love gift to the church.” I, like he, am glad to recommend it.