Matt Chandler & Michael Snetzer. Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change. Nashville: B&H, 2014. 224 pp. $16.99.
Church and Ministry
Recovering Redemption, an installment of The Village Church Resources imprint for B&H, walks us through gospel-shaped transformation. Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor of the Village Church, and Michael Snetzer, a Groups Pastor there, use harmonious theology and attuned counsel from life and ministry to demonstrate God’s use of the gospel to change people.
The authors compare the gospel to a song meant to change us for the better. It’s a tune sung by our Creator. We rehearse this song, but often not in step with God’s original. We borrow from the world and supply unsatisfying and soul-destructive methods – including materialism, comfort eating, alcohol, lust, and others – either to “help” change or insulate failure. But these methods do anything but help; they corrupt that redemption song.
Recovering Redemption replays this melody according to God’s sheet music, so we live changed lives in sync with the gospel. It starts with the good gone bad story of the fall (Chapter 1), followed by failed attempts at using ourselves, others, the world, and religion to fix problems only God can (Chapter 2).
Full recovery comes by Jesus Christ (Chapter 3). The consummation of this recovery is still future, so we still struggle to change, in a still shattered world (Chapter 4). We’re given hope and help through the benefits of belief: justification and adoption (Chapter 5) and responsibility through the complementary components of sanctification: mortification and vivification (Chapter 6).
Of course, real and lasting change requires diagnosing root sin problems – guilt and shame – which produce bad fruits like addiction, abuse, anger, and shattered relationships (Chapter 7). We also fight fears and anxieties by finding peace and trust in God (Chapter 8). We must embrace that gospel-grounded faith and holiness is a life-long endeavor. The world will entice; sin will desire. So we keep repenting, uprooting sin, and claiming God’s truth (Chapter 9).
Singing the song of redemption includes interacting righteously with others. This requires receiving confrontation well and living repentantly in community (Chapter 10). It also means confronting lovingly and forgiving willingly (Chapter 11). Our final aim is to pursue God’s pleasure as fuel for our hearts (Chapter 12).
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
All of us, every single dust-shaped, breath of life filled person, should read Recovering Redemption. So many vices, inhibitions, and obstacles to faithful and fruitful living are exposed in this book as we struggle with why we struggle. Recovering Redemption restores hope in overcoming how we’ve been hurt and the ways we hurt others.
Every pastor counsels people. And every church has some form of recovery ministry. The vehicle – depending on the severity and confidentiality of need – may be through small groups, discipleship, or pastoral counseling: whatever the case, you will need a gospel-saturated resource for this ministry. You will want a biblical guide to put in hands for equipping and encouraging grace-oriented change.
Recovering Redemption is an excellent resource for this. The Village Church thinks theologically and redemptively about helping people change; all of which guides them in a sympathetic shepherding process. In this book, that philosophy comes packaged, prepared, and ready to help your ministry.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
Recovering Redemption points believers to the gospel for change that puts sin underfoot and drives us to Christ, fleet of foot.