17 November 2013

Book Review: Let Hope In by Pete Wilson

Pete Wilson, pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee wants his readers to rediscover hope and he believes that hope is a choice, or rather the result of a series of choices. He structured the book, Let Hope In (2013) around four choices: choosing to transform instead of transfer, choosing to be okay with not being okay, choosing to trust rather than to please, and choosing to free people rather than hurt them.

The basic message of the book is that Wilson wants people to rediscover the hope of the gospel. Somewhere along the way, the message of Christianity has gotten twisted and his desire is that his readers would find their hope in Christ. There is an early focus on addressing shame, which in turn gives way to hope and freedom.  Later in the book, he makes the point that hurt people, hurt people and free people, free people. He wants people to leave the hurt at the cross and rediscover the freedom in Christ.

On the whole, I loved this book. Wilson is a great story teller who has a gift for weaving biblical truths with compelling narrative. He makes the reader believe that he has lived and experienced the things that he writes about.

In the first chapter, he shared a slogan that they have adopted at their church, “Everyone is welcome, because nobody is perfect, but anything is possible.” I appreciated how Wilson helped the reader to see that it is okay to be imperfect. In fact, in our humanity, we are imperfect, he merely calls us to recognize it. From that point, we can move forward. Tied with our hiding is the notion of shame, which is all too often ignored in the church. He rightly desires the church to be a place where it is safe to talk about brokenness and shame and find hope in the gospel. We should be a confessional community who point one another toward Christ and his forgiveness. I have been working my way through several of Larry Crabb’s books and there are certain parallels with his work, which I believe is a good thing, because both authors rethink Christian community.

Wilson landed where I hoped I would. Once we admit our brokenness, it ultimately should lead us to gratitude, grace, and freedom. This is a gospel saturated book. Wilson clearly wanted his readers to see the beauty of Jesus in the midst of our fallenness. I believe he succeeded.

If I had one complaint about the book, it wasn’t always clear to me that he was following the same thread through the book. There were times when I was not sure how one chapter linked to the previous. On the whole, he wove together several threads into a wonderful tapestry, but sometimes, I couldn’t see it.

I would strongly recommend this book. The publisher has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze®

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