Saving the saved by Bryan Loritts
Pastor Bryan Loritts in his new book, Saving the Saved, brings to the foreground two twin themes that will help readers in their journey of faith; one, the kingdom of this world is a meritocracy and two, Jesus kicked this meritocracy to the curb and calls us his children, not dependent upon all of our vain efforts. Bryan speaks to those who have fallen on hard times and those who are smooth smiling, his goal is to “refuse to have our joy tethered to the external events of life or to our personal strivings to measure up.” (22)
One short sentence sums up what Bryan is trying to teach us in chapter one. After looking at God’s loving kindness and mercy, Bryan writes, “God didn’t wait for me to get cleaned up before he loved me…Performance-free, unshakeable love.” (39) The quote he looks to is from Romans 5:8 and Bryan focuses on the “while we were yet sinners,” the mercy and love of God goes down deep to save us while we are enmity with God. It’s a joy that God reached down and saved us in our wickedness because our strivings to become right before God always fail, we go up and down in a quest for holiness and fail to see our Savior.
Bryan brings out a concept of third-way theology that I also believe is deadly in our churches. Third-way theology glosses over sin, extramarital affairs, greed, and add just enough Jesus to your life to make you acceptable (90-91). This kind of living is deadly because it seeks to put one foot in the world and one in the kingdom, but we know that Jesus says we cannot serve two masters. Bryan gives two indicators of a performance-free living for Christ; do I grieve over my sin and does this grieving lead to a full change (repentance)? These two things go hand in hand.
I really enjoyed this book and also enjoyed learning from Bryan’s father many years ago. This book will bring grace to people in the midst of a merit based culture.
Thanks to BookLookBloggers for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.