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Restoring All Things: God's Audacious Plan to Change the World through Everyday People Paperback – May 5, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

God is at work--and He invites you to join Him

It's easy to get discouraged by the headlines. It can often feel as if God has left the building and we are on our own. This soul-stirring book cuts through the chaos and uncertainty to show you how God is powerfully active and intensely engaged in fulfilling His promise to restore all things. Through inspiring real-life stories of justice, mercy, love, and forgiveness in our communities and neighborhoods, you'll encounter a God who is intimately involved in His creation and using His church to work out the redemption of this world.


"For all those convinced 'all is lost' for Christianity, I say, 'Read this book!' Stonestreet and Smith aim to restore some balance to the doom and gloom narrative by pointing us to the stories that prove that God is still at work today, through people who are addressing the brokenness and taking the opportunities right in front of their noses. Inspiring!"--Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author of Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life

"Not just encouragement but a good swift kick in the pants. If we really believe that God came in Christ not just to save our souls but to restore all things in Him, then we cannot despair. Smith and Stonestreet show how God's people are already advancing God's kingdom in the here and now, as well as give concrete advice on how to take part."--Jay W. Richards, assistant research professor, The Catholic University of America; New York Times bestselling author of Infiltrated and Indivisible


Warren Cole Smith is the vice president of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD magazine, and producer of the nationally syndicated radio programs The World and Everything in It and Listening In, a weekly interview program he also hosts. His books include A Lover's Quarrel with the Evangelical Church and Prodigal Press.

John Stonestreet
is a speaker and fellow with the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the voice of two nationally syndicated radio commentaries: BreakPoint (with Eric Metaxas) and The Point. A sought-after speaker and thought leader, he is the coauthor of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview and Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage.

About the Author

Warren Cole Smith is the vice president of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD magazine, and producer of the nationally syndicated radio programs The World and Everything in It and Listening In, a weekly interview program he also hosts. He has written, cowritten, or edited more than ten books, including A Lover's Quarrel with the Evangelical Church and Prodigal Press: Confronting the Anti-Christian Bias of the American News Media. He lives in Charlotte,
North Carolina.


John Stonestreet
is a speaker and fellow with the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and a sought-after communicator and thought leader on faith and culture, theology, worldview, education, and apologetics. He is the voice of two nationally syndicated radio commentaries: BreakPoint (with Eric Metaxas) and The Point. John is the coauthor of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview and Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage. He and his wife and three daughters live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (May 5, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801000300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801000300
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Mastin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 4, 2015
Format: Paperback
When I picked up Restoring All Things: God's Audacious Plan to Save the World Through Everyday People, I knew it would be full of culturally relevant, theologically sound, well-referenced, insightful analysis. Warren Cole Smith, publisher of World magazine, and John Stonestreet, who carries on Chuck Colson's tradition on the BreakPoint commentaries, both have organizational pedigrees that point to evangelical Christian thinking engaged with culture.

Smith and Stonestreet met expectations and more. On one level, Restoring All Things covers a wide variety of cultural hot buttons--race, criminal justice, sexuality and marriage, poverty and wealth, etc.--from a conservative Evangelical position. Anyone familiar with World and BreakPoint will have a good idea what to expect on each of these issues. They provide reasonable discussion and explanations of their position, as well as helpful addition reading and action steps.

What sets Restoring All Things apart is the stories that constitute the bulk of each chapter. They write, "the ideas that shape a culture are rarely advanced by argument. Rather they are advanced by the stories that shape our imaginations." Their hope is that as we read stories of the work ordinary people are doing, "not only will we be inspired to embrace the redemptive responsibility the church has in the world, we will be inspired to join in."

For example, it's one thing to read an argument in defense of marriage, yet another to read about someone who was faithfully married for 73 years, yet retained a romantic adoration of his wife. It's one thing to read that "The best way to eliminate poverty is by creating jobs," yet another to read about a nation-wide network of faith-based job training programs.
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Format: Paperback
Review of "Restoring All Things: God's Audacious Plan To Change The World Through Everyday People" by Warren Cole Smith and John Stonestreet

Smith and Stonestreet set out to convince believers of essentially two things. One, God's story is the one that drives history and the story is not yet done. Two, if you are going to be used of God, it will be by finding a middle way that avoids extremes and starts close to home. On both of these points, I believe they are absolutely right. All too often when it comes to facing the problems of the world, Christians fall into the polarized responses, "one is political, and the other is therapeutic." Both responses lack power, thoughtfulness and the traction of gospel centered, Christlike action. With that in mind, the authors go to great length to not only address many difficult issues facing our culture and nation, but they share the stories of many average Americans who have been making a difference in small and big ways.

Chapter after chapter are full of stories of God's people who started out with small goals formed through difficulty and compassion for others. These stories are told to illustrate the various ways God is still working in our world to restore, renew and revive the lost, hurting world. Most of the points they make are clearly biblical and valid. Many of the stories are compelling, moving the reader to find a way to impact this world as well. One such story is that of an incredible ministry in Colorado that offers foster care for the children of women who are in prison. This ministry is empowered by the many people of faith who make personal sacrifice to open their homes and lives to these children.

This book has big goals, moving stories, some well crafted ideas and an important message.
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Format: Paperback
Too often, Christians get a bad wrap. The media has a way of presenting Christians as bigoted and hateful, standing against anything of value. But is that true? Perhaps, the truth is that Christians have been at the forefront of positive cultural and social change for the last 2000 years. In their book Restoring All Things: God's Audacious Plan to Save the World through Everyday People (Baker Books, 2015), Warren Cole Smith and John Stonestreet use the medium of story to explore just what Christians are actually about.

The media chatter would have us believe that Christians are anti-science, anti-woman, anti-education, anti-progress, anti-, anti-, anti-. The list goes on and on. Indeed, there have been a number of excellent worldview and apologetics books helping to equip Christians to respond to these challenges to the Christian faith. These books are often reactive. More recently, it seems that there have been more books that I would call proactive apologetics texts, books that seek to highlight the positives of Christianity. Rodney Stark's The Victory of Reason (2006) and the newer book Joy for the World (2014) by Greg Forster are proactive. In the same way, Smith and Stonestreet's book provide a positive case for the biblical worldview in all things.

In the introduction, they provide a useful framework for thinking about God's redemptive work in all the world by asking four questions: 1) what is good in our culture that we can promote, protect, and celebrate? 2) What is missing in our culture that we can creatively contribute? 3) What is evil in our culture that we can stop? and 4) What is broken in our culture that we can restore? Then, through the remainder of the book, through the medium of stories, they examine the positive apologetic for the Christian worldview.
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