Red like Blood by Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington is designed to depict how everyone experiences brokenness and, as the authors call it, “confrontations with grace.” This book does not address its subject delicately, for the power of man’s brokenness and God’s grace is not a delicate thing. The authors are both passionate Christian men who seek to reveal the power of grace to fellow Christians.
Coffey and Bevington apply tremendous pressure against doubt and pride. Their points are supported by real life stories. It is like one massive quilt. Each story is a picture, and all the pictures are carefully sewn together by string of the authors’ comments, yet all of them are at the same time unique. They are able to do this because they share their own stories, which are equally as powerful as the stories they recall from others. Their stories reveal that they are thoroughly experienced in the subjects of brokenness and confrontations with grace.
The chief points are found scattered between a half-dozen varying stories. They are things that cause people to become broken and then to seek the grace of God. These factors include pride, doubt, and desire for independence. The authors illustrate these things with excellent images. For instance, Bevington compares doubt to a sniper, hitting him when he never expects it; and Coffey declares that “grace is like kryptonite to pride.” These types of illustrations are scattered throughout the book, accompanying every story. The authors strive to depict through all their tales that grace is not gentle, that it “flows red like blood.” To emphasize this, Bevington even uses the comparison that the cup of grace goes down the throat “like Hell.”
Red like Blood is the layman’s handbook to the reality of broken people finding grace. This is not a book that runs in a line from point to point. However, if one reads it chapter by chapter everything will be revealed within the ending pages. When the authors finally come out and declare their point, it is like riding a bike too fast and hitting a guardrail. Flat on your face you have been thrown -- flat and humbled before the throne of God in all his magnificent glory and overpowering grace.
The concept of confrontational grace may be portrayed rather unconventionally in this book, but it is not a new concept. Deitrich Bonhoeffer once wrote that, “It is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that confronts us with the truth.” This book is not a book for the young mind, due to some stories that still contain the grit found in shattered lives. Indeed, Bevington calls it a PG-13 book. I would recommend this book for adult study groups and for people who have experienced brokenness and have found, or, perhaps, are seeking grace. – Joshua A. Spotts, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Explosive, pervasive, sweet, powerful, relentless, amazing, devastating, raw, beautiful, are all words to describe a single reality: Grace.
Grace is not flat or one-dimensional. It is a jewel with many facets and held up against the light grace is absolutely captivating. Joe Coffey and Bob Bevington, the authors of Red Like Blood, have been captivated by the wonder and the power of grace. Red Like Blood is an attempt to hold that jewel in such a way that it catches the light and moves into your soul like a flood.
Have you noticed that grace is most likely to flow into cracks formed by brokenness over our sin or circumstances? In Red Like Blood you will find story after story of brokenness and the grace that entered in. Some stories are from Joe, a pastor’s kid turned pastor. Some are from Bob, a prodigal come home. And some are from the many inspiring characters they have met along the way. The stories are often raw and always brutally transparent. Because wherever real grace flows, real brokenness was there first.
There’s a reason the book is titled Red Like Blood. Every chapter points to it. And it’s something you don’t want to miss–the source, the essence, the fountain of God’s grace. The Story that, with a common scarlet thread, ties all stories of confrontations with grace together.