Last October Johnson started feeling nauseated and throwing up — something he says he almost never experiences — and with each passing month the bouts with sickness became more frequent. When routine medical exams revealed nothing he soldiered on, but in early 2016 he knew something was very wrong.
While ministering in Denmark in March, Johnson fell violently ill, vomiting 16 times in a single day. Shortly after returning home, doctors discovered a nasty blockage in his intestine and before he knew it he had undergone two endoscopies and was facing the prospect of an invasive operation where half his pancreas would likely have to be cut out. Thousands around the globe were praying that extreme surgery would not have to happen.
In what many believe was a miracle, physicians found they had a centimeter, just enough space, in his gut to perform a much simpler procedure, removing only a tiny piece of his intestine and successfully extracting the blockage. Johnson now says with a chuckle that he is "probably 105 percent" recovered and feels better than he ever has.
While recuperating, Johnson spent hours poring over the pages of the Bible, feasting on the promises of God in Scripture and calling to memory the many prophetic words that have been spoken over his life. His conclusion after this whole ordeal? God is still very, very good.
Perhaps the most stirring section of God is Good is chapter 8, titled "Jesus Christ, Perfect Theology," in which Johnson reiterates a central theme in his first book, When Heaven Invades Earth: Jesus clothed in supernatural power, is the model for Christian ministry.
Even the most seasoned, erudite theologians cannot match the Man who is seated at the right hand of God. Christ not only has, but is himself "perfect theology." For those who desire to follow Him, both purity of heart and a life of power are essential.
"Much of today's theology denies the lifestyle that Jesus lived." Johnson told CP. "And so, if I'm believing something in my pursuit of following Jesus that is contrary to the way He did life and ministry, then I need to reexamine what I do. "
"And Jesus exactly represented the Father so there's not a conflict. There's not a conflict between his example and the Father's heart. He actually reveals the Father's heart that had never been revealed before. So that's why there's this distinction between Old and New Testament, they served two different purposes. And so, when you see Jesus you see what God had been wanting to say all along."
Lest anyone think Johnson's book is yet another in the line of liberal, quasi-universalist takes on God's love and goodness that winks at licentiousness and sin, nothing could be further from the truth.
In light of the proliferation of false teaching and deceptions gaining ground, Johnson said that what often happens is that people come up with their own definitions and then reinterpret the scriptures by those definitions.
"That's the error," Johnson said. "We all have definitions and perceptions of truths. But those truths have to be constantly pruned and redefined by Scripture."
"It doesn't have to make sense to me," he said, adding that God's Word "is perfectly logical but only when I see it from His perspective. And it usually requires me to embrace something that I don't understand. It's the peace that passes understanding. If you want the peace that passes understanding, you going to have to give up your right to understand. That's part of the process."
As one submits to the process of obeying and believing without full comprehension, God then begins to impart divine perspective where there is understanding. .
"We can't subject the nature of God and the Word of God to our intelligence; we have to subject our intelligence to the Word of God," Johnson said.
CP asked Johnson what he hoped readers take away most from God Is Good: He's Better Than You Think.
The heartbeat, Johnson emphasized, is this: "I want for people to embrace Jesus is the perfect example of the Father. Throughout all of time, it has been [God's] intention to reveal the heart of a Father to an orphan planet."
He added, "guard yourself from redefining God's nature by disappointment and by things that didn't happen."
"I know of one denominational leader who years ago asked God for the baptism in the Holy Spirit and he didn't experience what other people experienced so he created a doctrine in [his denomination's] movement against that experience. It was out of his own lack of experience."
"And that's what we can't afford to do," he concluded.
For more on Bill Johnson and his latest book, click here.