Joining God’s Story of Re-Creation
Pete Hughes stands back from both traditional historical accounts and selective Bible passages to concentrate on the story God has been unfolding over the centuries.
Chapters such as ‘Creation and the Image-Bearers of God’, ‘From Slavery to the Promised Land’, ‘Jesus, the Gospel and the Kingdom of God’ and ‘The Resurrection and the Birth of the New Humanity’ trace the biblical story in a refreshingly contemporary manner. Interwoven with these theological considerations, we witness some very personal experiences – highs and lows – as the the young Anglican Vicar follows God’s leading to plant and nurture what is now known as KXC.
One of the triggers of this venture was a huge billboard proclaiming ‘King’s Cross is being delivered’ outside a redevelopment site in a poor part of London known for prostitution. A vision for a new church to serve that area grew in Pete and his wife’s hearts and, with the blessing of the Bishop of London, King’s Cross Church was born.
Hughes repeatedly stresses the principle he sees at the heart of God’s story:
Creation followed by De-Creation followed by Re-Creation.
God’s fantastic creation was catastrophically spoiled as a result of man’s rebellion (de-creation). But the Creator isn’t satisfied with snatching a small number of faithful believers out of this corrupt world and transporting them to another, never-ending ‘spiritual’ existence in ‘heaven’. He has a much more wonderful plan: to make all things new (re-creation) – to restore Eden – through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. As a result, we are encouraged to look forward to a perfect, merged Heaven-Earth in which neither evil nor suffering has a place.
Some quotes from the ‘OUTRO’ draw out the main point of the book:
- If people were immersed in the story of God, perhaps they would be rescued from drowning in the surrounding stories of secularism, relativism and consumerism.
- Reading the Scriptures provided a far more glorious and exciting vision than church growth: the renewal of all things.
- Millennials are increasingly dissatisfied with a spirituality that doesn’t really work from Monday to Friday.
- The story the world craves is the story we have been entrusted with: the story of God, the story of Jesus and the story of humanity.
We knew Pete as a toddler playing with our own sons, and have maintained a friendship with his parents over the years. So it was doubly interesting to read this book aloud, chapter by chapter, to my wife of an evening. But a question arose in her heart: To whom is the book addressed?
It is this dilemma – who is the target audience? – that only allows me to give the book four stars.
The message would be highly relevant for any postmodern young person looking for meaning in life, without having any knowledge of the Bible. However, I fear it might come over as too heavy and theological for such a reader. Convinced Christians from a traditional church background, on the other hand, would find much that is familiar. But, if they’re in a hurry to abandon this Earth and get to heaven, they could find the emphasis on God’s restoration story, culminating in making ‘all things new’, somewhat revolutionary.