Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day, Kevin DeYoung, editor (Mom’s Bookshelf)

Don't Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day (Gospel Coalition Series)When I saw the list of contributors to one of Crossway’s most recent titles, Don’t Call It a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day, I immediately knew I wanted to read it. With contributors like Tim Challies, Russell Moore, and Tullian Tchividjian, and a forward by D.A. Carson, there was bound to be some great stuff there. So, I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to review it!

A main aim of the book according to editor Kevin DeYoung is,

“to introduce young Christians, new Christians, and underdiscipled Christians to the most important articles of our faith and what it looks like to live out this faith in real life.” (p. 16)

A second aim was to reclaim the term “evangelical” and show that, contrary to it’s usage in recent years, it’s actually a term with real theological meaning. To accomplish these two goals, the book is divided into three parts.

The first section is historical, looking at the history of evangelicalism and how it should inform upcoming generations. The next section delves into the main tenets of historic, orthodox Christianity, from the nature of God and Scripture, to justification and sanctification, to the Kingdom. The final section applies these basic Christian beliefs to current social issues like “social justice”, homosexuality, and abortion, as well as issues like worship and missions. Within each section, each chapter is written by a different contributor.

I appreciated every chapter, but several really stood out for me:  sanctification by Owen Strachan (Ch. 8), the Kingdom by Russell Moore (Ch. 9), worship by Tullian Tchividjian (Ch. 17), and missions by David Mathis (Ch. 18).  Nearly every chapter had parts that really hit home and spoke to me. A few examples…

I loved Andy Naselli’s illustration on Scripture in chapter 4: 

“God didn’t dictate the whole Bible the way an executive mechanically dictates letters to his secretary. The human authors’ personalities are like musical instruments. If I play the same tune on a number of wind instruments, each will sound different even if I play the exact melody in the same key and even though it’s all coming from the same breath-mine.” (p. 60-61)

I really appreciated Ben Peays’ discussion of the new birth in chapter 6:

“Unfortunately, many Christians think of salvation only in terms of getting into heaven and avoiding hell. Christ becomes not a way into life, but merely a way to avoid death, reduced to a get-out-of-jail-free card or-even worse-fire insurance…This leaves many Christians understanding what they are saved FROM, but not having a good understanding of what they are saved INTO. One danger of evangelism that reduces Christianity to making a decision between heaven and hell is that it overlooks the value of the new birth for our earthly life…If evangelism focuses only on what happens AFTER we die, it leaves people wondering what Christians should do UNTIL they die. Salvation is ultimately saving us FROM God’s wrath and judgment, but it also saves us INTO a life with Christ today. This reality changes our priorities, our desires, what we treasure, and how we will spend our time and energy on earth.”  (p. 91-92)

 Or how about Owen Strachan’s description of sanctification in chapter 8:

“Sanctification is at base a tenacious grip on the robe of Christ, a wrestling with the Lord to bless us, a sojourn in the valley of death in pursuit of a city we cannot see.” (p. 109-110)

I took something away from each and every chapter. Don’t Call It a Comeback is a great, accessible overview of historic Christian belief and how it practically applies to our lives. It’s the perfect primer for new believers, a great refresher, and offers fresh insights even for those who are well-versed. In other words, anyone can benefit from it!

Thanks so much to Crossway for providing a review copy.

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