Stories are powerful. People read fiction to be caught up in a world they will never belong, but yet the author through the art of storytelling invites them to be become a part of that story. In the church, people are fascinated by other’s stories or testimonies on how God has worked in their lives. Stories are not the ultimate end for behind them is God who has given man the ability to think creatively and write well for His glory. Ultimately, stories are servants of the Gospel of Jesus. Stories either promote God’s story of redemption or they elevate man. In their book Red Like Blood: Confrontations With Grace, Pastor Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington tell God’s story of how He worked in their lives to reveal to them the grace of God. In so doing, they take the stories of their lives and demonstrate how to share our own story in a way that points not to self but to the work and grace of God.
Not only does this book contain a good story, it also has good theology. Behavior problems are ultimately doctrinal problems which are the result of a misinformed view of the Gospel. The Gospel is to rule our lives. As we open the pages of the Word of God, the Gospel is right there just three chapters in finding its fulfillment in the last verse of Revelation when a new heaven and new earth shall rule the day with King Jesus on the throne. Red Like Blood is good not only because it testifies to God’s work in people’s lives but because it does so with a sound theological approach.
I don’t recall many books containing good theology that people take seriously. Since sound theology leads to right living, it is refreshing to read a book that demonstrates that fact in a way the average layperson can understand without compromising any iota of sound evangelical doctrine.
This book is also valuable for the honesty by which the authors tell their respective stories. These stories come from Joe, a pastor’s kid turned pastor. Some are from Bob, a prodigal come home. Some of these stories are from others they have met along the way. Underlying all of the stories is the belief that wherever grace flows, it was preceded with real brokenness.
Whether you are just becoming interested in theology or you like to read good stories, Red Like Blood has something for you. This book will challenge you on many fronts. It will challenge the legalistic to see that grace is not about knowing the right answers but rather knowing how those answers lead to sound living. This book will comfort and bring healing to the broken by showing them the beauty of the grace of God and how it can provide restoration. Wherever you are in your journey with Christ this book has something for you. I highly recommend this book for new Christians or those beginning the study of theology because it will help them to understand what theological terms mean without all the fancy and nuanced language of an academic minded systematic theology text.
Title: Red Like Blood
Authors: Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington
Publisher: Shepherd Press (2011)
I received this for free from Shepherd Press through the CrossFocused Review program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”