Anyone familiar with the writing of Ted Kluck knows that he’s an expert at keeping real, sharing from the heart, and applying the truth of the gospel to everyday living. In his new book, The Bride(Zilla) of Christ, Kluck teams up with Ronnie Martin to answer an important question that is also the not so subtle sub-title of the book: What To Do When God’s People Hurt God’s People.
Both authors have a fair amount of experience in the local church and have many stories to tell. Anyone who has been around the church for any length of time will no doubt, have similar stories to tell. Honest people will admit that some of these stories are bad ones: Church splits, gossip, adultery, division, and a host of other sins have a tendency to emerge in the church, just like any organization.
Kluck and Martin write from different perspectives – but are both settled in the fact that the gospel speaks to every hurt. It is the gospel that has the power to reconcile severed relationships. And most of all, the gospel reconciles a holy God with a sinful people.
Writing a fair and honest review is difficult for me because I have been a big fan of Ted Kluck for several years now. Having said that, I must admit that the book is written in a rather haphazard way. Perhaps the intent was to write a book from the heart that didn’t read like a theological treatise. If that’s the case, mission accomplished.
The “scattered feel” of the book does not, however, detract from the overall message. Kluck and Martin clearly describe some of the church hurts and heartaches but are quick to prescribe the healing balm of the gospel.
A few quotes made the book worth reading for me. My hope is that these citations will motivate readers to give the book at try:
“Every time we use our hurt as a reason to disconnect, isolate, disassociate, or abandon, we’ve not understood the forgiveness we have in Christ and how it needs to manifest itself to others.”
“Whenever we let our minds gravitate to the heart that’s been leveled at us, we are simultaneously forgetting the hope that Christ extended to us on the cross.”
“The shocking thing to come to grips with is that we’re not any better than the people who have hurt us, even when that hurt has been a one-way bullet fired right into our heart.”
What stands out in this work is the hope that Christ offers us in the gospel. Kluck and Martin should be commended for writing such a transparent book that has the power to encourage many people. Their book is recommended, especially for pastors who have endured a “dark night of the soul” or had the unpleasant experience of being beaten up by the sheep.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.