Recovering Redemption is a book with pastoral heart written to reorient and guide the church back to its central mission: The redemption of the world by God in Christ. It isn't that the message of that redemption has changed; instead, the church has floundered for lack of a vision of that redemption as its very soul.
In that way, this book would be better titled "Reclaiming Redemption."
But that's hardly a surprise. Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church and president of Acts 29, knows first-hand how easily churches need this recovering, reclaimed message. Michael Snetzer, as Groups Pastor at The Village Church, also knows the need for this message in a church's life. Together, they bring a unified voice with a strong message.
This book hardly contains new information. Its retelling of the biblical story in the first three chapters is so beautifully clear. "Bad news is the backdrop against which good news really shines. So let there be darkness. And let there be light" (p. 12).
But they hardly leave that simple message at the level of just information. No, this book means to achieve formation, "a gospel-saturated perspective on how to change". So it's filled with personal stories; the best biblical theology is biography. "The beauty of Christ's gospel is the great 'unless' of life ... we've seen it play out in our lives" (p. 45).
This book is an ideal introduction to the Christian faith for newcomers and inquirers.
B&H Books provided a free copy of this book for this honest review.
I'm a very avid reader so I usually breeze through books. But let me tell you, Recovering Redemption, stopped me in my tracks. I tried to just plow through it, but the words just wouldn't let me. I found myself reading a chapter and then having to put the book down and just digest what it contained.
The description of the book says that it is intended for the unbeliever who knows that their way isn't working and the believer that still finds themselves in messes. I'm of the later category. This book made me recall how I felt when I was first redeemed. I was totally sold out. I trusted Jesus with everything. But slowly that began to slip away. I began to trust myself more and more to set things right.
The beauty of this book is that it is a great reminder that apart from Christ we are nothing. Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer make the perfect team to drive this point home. Matt is blunt in stating what the problem as well as the solution is. Michael adds the perspective of a relational aspect to the situation. In other words Matt is black and white and Michael adds different hues of color that add to the final picture.
If you are like me you are going to come away from this book with a new appreciation of the Gospel message. Recovering Redemption will allow you to again reclaim what you may have thought was lost when in reality it was there all the time. It was just buried under all the other things that you have used to find peace but instead found strife. I urge you to pick a copy up and let it help you peel back the layers that have come between you and the life giving message of Christ.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.