In Renovate, Léonce Crump challenges readers to rethink how Christians are to view and interact with the world. Crump points out that many Christians tend to see culture as being beyond repair and slated for destruction. Contrary to such a view, the author points out how Scripture shows God as intending to redeem and re-create the present world into a new heaven and new earth. When we become mindful to this fact, we come to understand that Christians are commissioned by God to actively transform culture and society. Thus, Christians are to be the agents of change wherever God has placed them. Furthermore, Crump emphasizes that the neighbourhood that we find ourselves in is the primary location for us to renovate culture with the good news that we bear. To illustrate how cultural renovation occurs, Crump recollects his personal experience in attempting a few church plants in Atlanta over a span of several years before he was able to establish the church that he currently pastors. Although the conflicts primarily revolve around the racial divide in Atlanta, the underlying message of pursuing intentional gospel change over a prolonged period of time is applicable to every local community we find ourselves in. The author is fairly honest in sharing the struggles he faced in displaying Christ in an environment that is hostile to the gospel and encourages readers to work diligently towards cultural renewal through intentional living.
I would recommend this book to every Christian looking to see gospel transformation in their local area. Although I may not be able to completely relate to the racial tensions described in the book, every local community has specific needs that Christians are to be attentive to in their attempts to engage culture. Instead of viewing culture as something to be shunned altogether or to be forcefully changed according to our own preferences, the author reminds readers that changing a community may require many years of effort, service, and humility. It is only through a lifetime of exhibiting Christ diligently in every aspect of one’s life along with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit will cultural renovation take place in anticipation of Christ’s return.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from The Crown Publishing Group in exchange for a book review.