I agree with Jim Daly when he writes in the forward, “The clash of values in the public square has at times inadvertently alienated citizen from citizen and believer from believer. Even in our efforts to alleviate suffering and help those in need, we constantly run the risk of being viewed with suspicion and even contempt.” If anyone knows that how to operate in the public square, It’s Daly and the troop he calls Focus on the Family. Though their story is one of many, Stonestreet and Smith take the reader on an incredible narrative through the lives of ordinary Christians all over the world in their newest volume Restoring All Things: God’s Audacious Plan to Change the World through Everyday People
I’m just gonna come out and say it; this is probably the best example of sphere sovereignty I’ve seen in narrative form since Kuyper gave the stone lectures at Princeton so many years ago. In an intriguing form, Stonestreet and Smith have brought to the reader stories of how God is using ordinary means in extraordinary circumstances to change the world.
In a world divided between denominational lines this volume is a clear reminder that God does not operate solely between the walls of our church buildings. He operates in the vocations of ordinary men and women. He operates in the alleyways, beneath the bridges, behind closed doors, and everywhere in-between. He works in us to accomplish his audacious plan to save the world, and His implementation could not be more timely.
The topics addressed in this volume are not popular to talk about but they are approached with wise advice and crazy examples of the work God is doing. Here they give us a view of life through the eyes of orphans, rejects, and those often overlooked. They address justice, education reform and adoption. They help to pull the curtains back to show us an inner-working that many are unaware of.
I would highly recommend this volume to church groups everywhere. At the end of each chapter the author’s place a handy conclusion and a to-do-list which helps readers not only to apply the material but action items to addressing the problem in our own contexts. Restoring All Things does more than it offers. It helps the reader to answer questions that aren’t asked. It gives us that answers we need to see the world through new eyes. Yes it tells a good story, but it’s more than that. It’s a reminder that God is not done working and that His plans are still going forward.
In a world where the foundation is literally crumbling beneath us it’s good to have a reminder that God knows what He’s doing and how’s He’s going to do it. Are we in place of losing our religious liberties? Absolutely! That, however, should be no cause for alarm. We have a mighty God who is not slow in acting. A mighty Savior who reigns over ever square inch of this world and will one day complete his audacious plan to save us by the means He has already ordained.