Jun 27, 2011

"Don't Call It a Comeback" - A Book Review

Don't Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day (Gospel Coalition Series)Ever since the birth of our newest addition Josh 5 months ago, my energy level and reading have been limited.  I still have way too many books that I want to read than I have time for, but I am really feeling the pinch now.  One of the authors I have enjoyed reading recently is Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan.  Kevin is a sharp young leader with a deep theological base.  Last year, I was browsing the racks at Lifeway and saw the book "Don't Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day".  I was intrigued by the title and saw that Kevin had served as the editor.  I bought it and added it to my "Hope to read one day" list.  A few months ago, I threw it in the bag and started reading it one night at my son's baseball practice.  I quickly found it to be one of the most helpful and necessary books I have read in a while. 

Here is the premise of the book.  Kevin and a 17 other pastors and church leaders each contribute a chapter to the book.  Each of these guys are young evangelicals who are solidly committed to sound theology, biblical exposition, and helping transform churches into relevant missional communities.  The idea that birthed the book was an attempt by younger evangelicals to understand and define what the evangelical community looks like historically and what they believe about important topics like the person of Christ, Scripture, the gospel, justification, sanctification, the kingdom of God, social justice, homosexuality, and gender confusion.  The authors identify and admit that there is much confusion in the church today about what constitutes the "evangelical" movement.  The term has become a political identification that has lost grips with the theological roots that bonded the movement together for many years. 

I am 42 years old and have been a Christ-follower for almost 25 years.  I am a graduate of a conservative Baptist seminary.  I have almost 20 years of ministry in church-related vocation.  However, I admit that before reading this book, I had a very blurred picture whenever I heard the term "evangelical".  I believe that my generation and the ones succeeding it have lost all identification with the evangelical movement.  As a matter of fact, in some younger circles the term is avoided for fear that you will have to cover your face and shout "Unclean! Unclean!"  As I read each of these chapters I was encouraged greatly that the theological truths that I hold so dearly are affirmed in a larger circle and are being embraced by men much younger than I.  I am extremely pleased to see a return to biblical fidelity, theological accuracy, and missional relevance in the "younger evangelicals" today.  I am excited that the prophecies a few years ago that spelled "doom" for this next generation have not come to pass.  I believe that God is raising a generation of God-glorifying, gospel-saturated, and missionally-focused leaders that will change the course of much of the evangelical landscape in the next 20 years. 

If you are under 40, I believe this book is a must-read.  If you are a 20-something who has come out of your "youth group" mentality and are now looking for some substance to believe in regarding God, the Bible, and contemporary issues, you need this book