Reflecting God’s glory, by living well, in the pocket of the Kingdom: a book review

The truth is we are broken people. We were created as image bearers to reflect the glory of God, but because of sin we are twisted and broken image bearers. We reflect God but are fragmented and alienated from others.

Kevin Scott’s Recreatable: How God Heals the Brokenness of Life takes an honest look at the reality of our brokenness but also offers us the Good News: we are broken people, but we are not broken beyond repair. As people created by God intended to bear his image, we are ‘recreatable.’ God is able to take the broken shards of our life and help us to live holy lives which reflect his glory to a watching world.

I really loved this book. In part, this is because it contains both what I consider the single best analogy of human brokenness and one of the best summaries of the Christian life. In the first chapter, Scott tells the story of his daughter Courtney baking brownies and dropping the glass pan that they were in. While smell of brownies was still enticing, the brownies were full of shards of glass and were dangerous to whoever dared partake of them (19-20). This seems a vivid picture of our image bearing. We humans have the scent of heaven on us, but because of our brokenness we hurt all who get close to us.]

Scott summarizes the Christian life with this ’45 second’ explication of the book’s sections (Reflecting his glory, Living well, in the pocket of the Kingdom):

“Reflecting his glory” means that God is taking  the shards of the world and our broken lives and restoring his glory to them. We become a place of intersection where people can meet God as he makes us holy.by

“Living well” means that Christ develops in our hearts a sustainable pattern of faith, hope and love. This is the essence of healing, hope, and God’s glory in us.

“In a pocket of the Kingdom” means the holy life– the attractive life–is lived with other Christians who come together around Scripture, worship, and community, and welcome other Christians into the Kingdom pocket through Christian mission.

It is through this process–this story recapitulated in every disciples life–that God heals the brokenness of life. We may be broken but we are recreatable (*13-4).

These paragraphs describe in brief the outline of the book. Part one looks at “reflecting his glory,” part two describes “living well,” and part three explores the context of ‘pocket of the Kingdom”–Scott’s description of how the church relates to the Kingdom. This forty-five second version hints at what the Christian life is about and draws on three thinkers which help Scott frame his theological vision  in reponse to three thinkers, “the scholar, the philosopher and the farmer—N.T. Wright, Dallas Willard, and Wendell Berry (9).” Scott claims that the insights of these men have uniquely impacted his life. I think they helped him frame his summary of the Christian life in terms of biblical theology (Wright), spiritual formation (Willard) and local context (Berry). All three men are quoted and referenced in the text, though I think Wright and Willard’s influence (providing the biblical vision and how this is lived out) are more explicit and Berry is more implicit (i.e. how community and local communal context relates to the concept of church).

This book provides an interesting look at discipleship. I think Scott has important things to say. At times he is incisive in his conclusions (i.e. the reality of human brokenness and the gospel  news of healing and restoration). At other times he is provocative (i.e. he tells disciples that they ‘maybe’  reading the Bible daily isn’t the best way for them (153). But he is always compelling. This is the sort of book that makes me want to pursue Jesus full force. Its focus is more on ‘personal aspects’ of faith rather then social implications, but Scott is careful to situate this communally. As a book describing personal discipleship, I give this 5 stars and recommend this book for small group study and personal reading. This is an excellent resource for those seeking to deepen their spiritual life and grow beyond brokenness into holy living. This is well worth reading: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★.

Thank you to Kregel Publications for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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