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Throughout his insightful, accessible exploration of gratitude, author Cornelius Plantinga reiterates the amazing fact that “gratitude is the single best predictor of human well-being.” Plantinga is senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and president emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary.

Plantinga tells how, over the years, the virtue of gratitude intrigued him. As he asks and answers questions about this virtue, his thinking is founded on the Christian faith: “Christianity is a religion of God’s grace and our gratitude, centering on Jesus’s brave sacrifice of his life. Once we Christians become aware of the importance of gratitude, we start to see occasions for it everywhere.”

Practical and relevant for the Christian’s walk with God, no matter the circumstances, Plantinga’s questions touch on the realities people face: “Why does Scripture put such a premium on gratitude—urging it, commanding it, making a sacred duty out of it? ... How can I seriously thank God when the world seems so awful?” However, when there are numerous reasons to give thanks to God, Plantinga urges readers to consider questions such as “What’s it like to savor and celebrate them? How might I keep a record of my thanks for them?”

This reader found particularly helpful the chapter titled “Taking Care,” which addresses the question, “If I am grateful for something, how do I take proper care of it?” Plantinga focuses on practicing our gratitude to God by taking care of our marital relationships, by practicing spiritual disciplines to strengthen our Christian faith, and by loving others and the world through engaging in acts of mercy and doing good.

Not surprisingly, reading Gratitude stimulated this reader’s gratitude for God’s amazing grace and his world of wonders beyond counting.

Recommended for individual enlightenment and enjoyment, and for small group study, though discussion questions aren't included. (Brazos Press)

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