DeYoung, Kevin, ed. Don’t Call it a Comeback: The Old Faith For a New Day. Crossway: Wheaton, 2011.
Kevin DeYoung has become one of my favorite writers and theologians in our culture. It is hard to find someone who thinks deeply and articulates positions in a way that communicates effectively. He writes as a theologian who applies the truths of Scriptures deeply to our culture. Although DeYoung is not the primary author in Don’t Call It a Comeback, he serves as the general editor.
The book is basically a compilation of articles that cover the specific areas of evangelical history, theology, and practice. The history section is the shortest containing two articles. DeYoung writes one called, “The Secret to Reaching the Next Generation,” which in my opinion is worth the book alone. I have been thinking these things for years, but DeYoung states positions with much more clarity and depth than I could ever aspire to achieve. In our denomination, the topic of contextualization with respect to “youth” and the younger generation is extremely important. I have had numerous conversations, usually in disagreement, with many concerned church members in evangelical culture, over how we “keep our children.” I believe DeYoung’s conclusions are thoroughly biblical and worth considering. In short, he says, “Grab them with passion; Win them with love; Hold them with holiness; Challenge them with truth; and Amaze them with God.”
The second section covers large theological topics such as the doctrine of God, the Scriptures, the Gospel, regeneration, justification, sanctification, the Kingdom of God, and the exclusivity of Christ. Each chapter gives a clear and simple presentation in a very readable way of the main doctrines of the Christian faith.
The third section deals with more practical issues Christians face like vocation, social justice, homosexuality, abortion, gender confusion, a theology of the local church, worship, and missions. I found all the articles helpful. My personal favorite for the moment is Justin Taylor’s chapter on abortion.
The book is not aimed at the academic, but anyone in the “pew.” I found it very easy to read. You might say, “Jon, you find all books easy to read.” But, I really mean it. This one is easy. If you want a book that will cover the basic historical, theological, and practical issues important to the evangelical Christian, you need to get a copy of this book. As the title suggests, there is nothing really new in the book. It contains timeless truths with timely applications for our day. You may not want to sit down and read it all at one time. But, I promise it will come in handy as a reference book as you do your best to make disciples and defend the faith in this world.