Read This Book (A Book Review)
Updated: Feb 10
by Matthew B. Redmond
I want to believe my faith in the gospel of grace is not limited to the ‘spiritual’ things but is exploding onto every single mundane moment in my life. I want the shrapnel of this explosion to embed itself in every enjoyment, and failure, and celebration, and tragedy coming my way.
If you resonate with the above quote, this book is for you. Matt Redmond argues that God the mundane aspects of life concern God and even glorify Him. I think you should read this book, and a few of my reasons follow.
Read it because it’s skillfully written.
I appreciated the author’s prose. Most of us probably agree cognitively with his thesis. We would agree that God mundane life can glorify God. It’s just that, tacitly, we don’t really believe it. Redmond’s writing style is a weapon he wields to ruthlessly attack our tacit assumptions. For example, he inquires, “If all Christians are missionaries how come plumbers never speak at missions conferences?” Well, there is that.
Read it because it meets a genuine need.
Another good reason to read this book is that many of struggle with the idea that our calling is less than spiritual. Redmond doesn’t argue that the callings we normally consider spiritual are bad. It’s just that well-meaning calls to missions and “full-time Christian work” can tend to leave the bulk of the church doubting the value of their lives. Is God glorified less in the of changing diapers, the educating of children, or the building of roads? Are believers on the B-team (or not making the team) if they aren’t “full-time” Christian workers? My experience is that many saints are left feeling like sub-Christians.
Read it because its thesis is wonderfully true.
As it happens plumbing, banking, carpentry, and raising babies does please God. Redmond asks, “In the economy of God, do only the times when we are doing something life-changing have any spiritual cache with Him?” He later answers his question:
There is a God delighting in the ordinary existence of the unknown faithful doing unknown work. There is a God of grace for those who live out their faith everywhere….
He observes that it is significant that the incarnate Son of God spent most of His earthly life plying the simple trade of carpentry.
Read it because Scripture validates its thesis.
To give an example, one chapter explores Paul’s exhortations in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 and 2 Thessalonians 3:12. We’re to aspire to live quietly, and to do our work quietly. Quiet lives don’t draw attention; they don’t make a dramatic splash. People who live such lives aren’t famous. But these verses show that God both gives and approves “normal” work. It follows we glorify God by the things we normally consider mundane. We can glorify God even when aren’t sharing the gospel.
I hope I’ve peaked your interest enough to read the book. Have any of you read it? Would you recommend it? Why or why not? Join the discussion by clicking and leaving your comments below.