Book review: The Radical Rescue

The cover os The Radical Rescue.

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The Radical Rescue
by Kirsten Roggenkamp and Heather Blaire

Whatever our stage of life or faith, the basic building blocks of our faith must always be the simple stories of Jesus—what He did, how He lived, what He taught, how He died and rose again. We need to teach these to our children, young people and new believers, and we need to revisit them for ourselves again and again. The Radical Rescue is a worthwhile resource to help us do all of these things.

Authors Kirsten Roggenkamp and Heather Blaire are both experienced school teachers and—as with their previous books—The Radical Rescue is written first for use in their familiar classroom setting. But the “for kids of all ages” marketing blurb for this book sells it short. A better description: this is a helpful invitation to teach, share and re-visit the stories of Jesus for all of us.

Of course, The Radical Rescue is a teaching resource. Each story is only about three pages, with references to the relevant Bible texts, discussion questions and sharing prompts at the end of each story. It would work well for family worship, particularly when you have time together to go deeper into the stories and their meaning.

But the storytelling itself is the strength of The Radical Rescue. Most of the stories are retold in the voices of those who witnessed Jesus’ life and ministry. Sometimes these are the disciples; sometimes they are created characters—often young people—who have seen the events that are now familiar to any reader of the gospels. These perspectives give a sense of immediacy and the wonder that these first witnesses felt as they tried to understand what was happening among them and who Jesus was. A line repeated in various ways through a few of the stories is “Jesus always takes me by surprise.”

The Radical Rescue will draw you into these stories in fresh ways. It is easy reading with an inbuilt sense of wonder and excitement. There are many books about Jesus, with many big and important ideas, but the simplicity and energy of this one makes it worth your attention. The Radical Rescue and other books by Kirsten Roggenkamp and Heather Blaire are available from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand, or online.

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