Posted by Philip Hobbs, 26 Feb 2019
Philip Hobbs reviews 'Take Heart' by Matt Chandler.
You should read this book!
Matt Chandler writes clearly and honestly about the society we live in - from the challenges it presents us to the hope the gospel holds for those who live in it. He contends that Christians should not try to convert culture, hide behind condemning culture or naively consume culture; rather we need Christian courage, motivated by a right theology and big view of our big God.
It is a manageable read- the chapters are of varying length and complex ideas are well explained and applied, while the vocabulary should be accessible for any college age student. It is certainly a book I will be putting into the hands of my student peers.
Importantly, Chandler is clear that the human heart is the source of all evil - not our culture - and it is people we therefore long to convert. Chandler contends that because of who God is, it is no worry that Christianity does not enjoy the societal position it once did. In fact, because of who God is, Christians ought to ‘take heart’ in our mission to our culture today. An attribute of God that the author asks the Church to reclaim is that “God is a warrior” (Ex 15:3). He borrows from Tremper Longman III and Daniel G. Reid to trace this attribute through Scripture to persuade the reader that Jesus wins, and so we can take courage.
Chandler draws a lot on 1 Peter, and helpfully points out that courage should manifest itself in holy integrity, devotion and evangelism. One place in which he argues Christians should be doing this is in their hospitality, since God has first been hospitable to us miserable sinners.
You would do well to read this book, examine yourself, and courageously trust in our Warrior God as you seek to be a Christian in ‘the age of unbelief’.
Matt Chandler, Take Heart, 2018, The Good Book Company, softback, 120 pages, ISBN: 9781784983161
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Philip Hobbs is a member of Christ Church Fulwood and a student at Sheffield University.
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