[quick introductory note: I’m never sure how to preface a book review. So I’ve decided this time around that I won’t. I’m just going to dive into what it’s about and what I liked/disliked. thank you.]
“A faith that restores all things.”
That’s the subtitle of this book, and as hard as it was for me to grasp an idea of what exactly this book was about, it all seemed to come back to this idea. When I picked it up, I thought it was going to be one of those types of books which corrects your thinking on a lot of concepts and ideas, and to a degree, it does. It forces us to re-evaluate our definitions of righteousness, justice, justification, and peace (shalom, wholeness.) But if I’m being completely honest, it seems just a little vague. Either I was perpetually tired while reading this book, or it was divided into unique sections which didn’t gracefully tie into each other.
the message of this book is clearest by the last couple of chapters, when it talks about shalom, which is the fruit of justice. Justice flows out of the believer and his or her righteousness which is found in Christ. So the gospel according to Jesus, Seay writes, is a gospel that speaks of a righteousness which births justice in believers, believers act out justice, and God, through believers, restores all things.
Perhaps the issue most clearly addressed is the tendency of people to shy away from sinners. Since we like to categorize life and in that, people, we tend to have the “good” people and the “bad” people. The guys who go to church, and then the guys who go to the bar; the homeless; the poor; people who can’t help themselves; drug addicts; people who cuss; etc. Problem is, this isn’t how Jesus looked at people. Jesus came for the “bad” people, the people who were broken, the people who needed Him. And that’s who we should be running to – at one points Seay actually uses the language of “chasing brokenness.”
It’s a “justice book” (if I can so loosely use such a term) and it may not be the most well-written, but it’s definitely worth a read.