By Amy Sondova With the best-selling book under his belt, Dr. Henry Cloud reintroduces the basic concepts of The Secret Things of God in this teaching DVD. Cloud, who co-authored the Boundaries books series, brings his skills as a psychologist and theologian together to address the inner longing of humans from both a biblical and psychological perspective.
Cloud lays the framework with four universal principles which compose the human psyche–happiness, relationships, purpose, and spirituality. These composites are built on a foundation of trust, which Cloud defines as the “key that opens the door” to relationships. He also says that “trust is the vehicle by which we open ourselves up to God and others.” Yet he asserts that a human’s trust must be strategic and purposeful, that not all individuals are worthy of trust.
However, trusting God, which Cloud calls “vertical” trust is always worthwhile, and as one learns to trust God, he or she also learns to trust others (“horizontal” trust). Citing the Old Testament book of Exodus, Cloud shares how the Israelites called out to God in the misery of their enslavement to Egypt (vertical trust). God heard their cry and called Moses to deliver his people, meaning the people had to trust Moses as they trusted God (horizontal trust). Moses was only worthy of the people’s trust because God was working in him—he was the horizontal answer to their vertical trust.
Building on the foundation of trust, one can experience happiness, which is the result of feeling connected to others and to God and dealing with negative emotions. Cloud also explores the other universal principles of relationships, purpose, and God (spirituality) in depth citing both Bible verses as well as drawing on the expertise of interfaith and secular figures such as Dr. Drew Pinsky of Loveline, extreme interventionalist Warren Boyd, Cristina Ferrare, Rabbi Jonathan Aaron, and others.
The Secret Things of God DVD has a lot of information to absorb in its running time of 87 minutes. Therefore, it is advisable to break up the viewing into segments, which is also conducive for small group study and discussion. It tickles the intellectual, but also offers incentive to make lasting life changes, not dependent on circumstances that are out of human control, but the reactions and attitudes of humans to these situations and reliance on God, who is very much in control.
This DVD is an excellent resource for any pastor, small group, church staff, or individual who wants to deeply seek out purpose from a Godly, biblical perspective without the indulgences promised by the popular “prosperity” gospel. Cloud is honest about life’s hardships and makes a point to address the fact that sometimes God seems distant, yet he instructs his audience how to keep trusting God and others despite the rocky road that is life. The secret to life according to Cloud is a personal relationship with God who offers us a set of keys to unlock the secrets of life so that humans can live to the unlimited potential for which they are called by God.