Adrian Warnock and Tope Koleoso have written a well-attested book called Hope Reborn: How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus.
I caught up with Adrian recently to discuss the book. Check it out!
Instead of asking, “what is your book about,” I’m going to ask the question that’s behind that question. And that unspoken question is, “how are readers going to benefit from reading your book?”
Adrian Warnock: For some people we hope our book will be their introduction to the gospel which accomplishes our salvation. We have already heard of some people who were given the book as non-Christians and made a decision to follow Jesus before they got to the end. But for others, perhaps they will decide to read the book to check whether they want to use it with their friends, but the gospel has a way of surprising us with its freshness and power for ourselves. We pray that every Christian who reads will experience a renewed passion for the gospel, an enriched understanding, and greater confidence to share the good news more clearly with others.
Tell us a bit about the experiences that shaped the insights in the book.
Adrian Warnock: Tope and I have been serving together at Jubilee Church in North London since 1995. Over the years, by God’s grace, we have seen many people respond to the gospel. But often it seems they are being saved on a fragment of truth. There is a great need to help new believers understand the gospel. We looked for a book to help them through the most important transition of their lives, and when we couldn’t find one that had this focus, we decided to write Hope Reborn.
How is your book different from the many other books on hope and salvation?
Adrian Warnock: There are a number of books that assume someone is not yet ready to become a Christian, and focus on questions of apologetics like “Does God exist?” and “What about suffering?” Those books are useful for people asking such questions, but people who are closer to becoming a Christian only need to have the gospel itself explained to them.
There are also many books that assume the reader is already a Christian and move directly to discipleship. Our book does cover some basic discipleship too, but it doesn’t assume that the reader understands the gospel already. Many people today, even some who have been going to church for a long time, simply do not grasp key aspects of what the Bible teaches us about salvation.
Who is the target audience of the book?
Adrian Warnock: Our main goal is the interested inquirer who wants to understand what it is that Christians believe in order to decide whether or not they want to follow Jesus themselves.
Hope Reborn examines the basics of the Bible’s message in a way that will also be helpful for any Christian who knows that we must never graduate from the gospel. We all need reminders, and we all need to learn fresh ways of understanding and explaining the unchanging gospel. Certainly we benefited personally from writing the book.
Give us two or three insights from the book that would be helpful to Christians.
Adrian Warnock: One thing we do throughout the book is provide simple definitions of certain key concepts that Christians need to understand. Here are some examples:
- THE GOSPEL The good news that lost sinners can be reconciled to God forever through the death and resurrection of Jesus, who is now enthroned as ruler of the universe.
- BORN AGAIN When someone who is far from God and therefore spiritually dead, becomes a child of God and is forgiven by Him. They are made new and become spiritually alive to God.
- FAITH A response of the heart to God in trust, submission, and dependence. It involves coming to God empty, acknowledging our helplessness, and relying on Him alone to save us. True faith values and cherishes God above everything else. Despite any ongoing doubts, faith is a settled decision to direct the heart towards God.
- ￼REPENTANCE A change of mind, a change of heart, a change of behavior, and a change of direction. Often used interchangeably with “believe,” but involves more than mere intellectual assent.
What do you hope readers will walk away with after they finish your book?
Adrian Warnock: For some, I trust these pages will help people to decide to follow Jesus for the first time. For those who are already Christians, I hope they will have their love for him renewed, and feel re-commissioned to share the message of the gospel with a world who does not yet know Him.