Redemption by Mike Wilkerson
Wilkerson, Mike. Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols we Worship and the Wounds we Carry. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2011. 208 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Westminster for $10.71.
Mike Wilkerson is a pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. His passion is engaging in and restoring the gospel to counseling ministries in the church. He leads Mars’ Hill Redemption Group ministry. This is yet another quality resource offered by Re:Lit, a ministry of the Resurgence.
Divided into eight chapters with an epilogue and appendix, Mike Wilkerson takes his theology of counseling from the book of Exodus. Chapter one explains that when you suffer God is near even if He does not seem so. chapter two answers the question of how long the trial and tribulation will last as well as offers encouragement to those who are in the midst of trials.
Chapter three looks at the redemptive work of God in the Passover and what it means for your life in the here and now. The fourth chapter, perhaps the most important chapter looks at the impact of the Passover as breaking free from bondage through the crossing of the Red Sea.
The final four chapters offer encouragement and hope as the Christian now faces a life of freedom, often for the first time that they can recall, and now must deal with so many other problems that they had no idea were even present. In the end, the reader will see that we must always fight to continue keeping God as our greatest desire.
Each chapter concludes with a recommended resource section, scripture readings, and questions for reflection.
Based on the book of Exodus, Pastor Wilkerson gives a Christ-centered approach to dealing with those thorny counseling issues that many may not be familiar with. The real-life examples and case studies show that these time-tested principles are worth investigating further. What is more, Mike does not come off as the “end all, be all” of biblical counseling. He does not claim this is the only way to do it, nor does he say that no other way of counseling will work.
What he does show in a somewhat subtle manner is that the Bible does in fact hold answers to life’s most pressing issues. Perhaps what was most enjoyable (and frustrating) element of this book was the real need that exists for biblical-based counseling today. At some point in the reading of this book, you will be able to identify with one of the stories shared (if not more). That is not to say that this book is one of those written to show you how you need to be counseled because of something that has happened in your past. Rather, you will see the need for counseling but also the need for a gospel-centered approach to life.
If you are involved in the ministry and are wanting to begin a counseling ministry, Redemption would be a nice resource to add to your library. If you are struggling yourself with pain and suffering from a bygone era, then Redemption becomes an almost essential read as it will be a sweet balm to a hurting soul.