I received Recovering Redemption as a review copy from Broadman & Holman. I will try my best to give a brief review- without summarizing too much of the book. I will include some quotes from the book, but overall I will just give a basic outline.

The book by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer is basically about what it is titled “Recovering Redemption”. The book is deliberately organized in a certain way. It begins with discussing creation and fall of man. The book then discusses how it is popular for people to try to redeem themselves. The authors talk about four main ways people try to redeem themselves on their own. Without going into too much detail, I will briefly discuss each failed attempt.

1. Ourselves

We feel that the cure to fix ourselves is a better version of ourselves.

“The truth is you would be hard pressed to find anyone over the course of your life who has lied to you, and fought you, and failed you, and disgusted you more than you. Right? And that’s the person you’re counting on to come to your rescue?”

2. Others

When we realize that ourselves can’t redeem us, we should conclude that others can’t either. We are all sinful

3. The world

Money, sex, food, possessions, etc… “We’re elevating created things above the creator.”

4. Religion

“In fact, when we try to tilt the scales of God’s favor to our advantage by checking off the standard good Christian boxes, aren’t we just running a 2.0 version of #1- “redeeming ourselves”- the only real difference being that we’re dressing it up in Sunday clothes and a choir robe, working it out to the tune of a praise band?”

These four attempts are referenced frequently throughout the book. Chandler and Snetzer are constantly making the point that we are hopeless to redeem ourselves, and ultimately only Christ can offer us redemption.

It moves on to the reality that we (Christians) have been fully pardoned by God. The authors talk about justification, adoption, sanctification, vivification, mortification, etc… and through all of that we have a means to remove our fear, anxiety, our anger, lust, etc. Chandler and Snetzer do a great job making these topics clear to understand and, at the same time, weaving in personal stories that make it more relatable. Finally the book wraps up talking about the pursuit of joy, and how Christ is the only lasting joy in this life.


This book does an excellent job at explaining the change the gospel brings to your life, and the beauty of God’s amazing grace. Having read other books by Chandler I do feel, that the majority of this book must have been written my Michael Snetzer. It is solely a guess, but much of it didn’t read like Chandler to me. That is not to diminish the book, as I did overall enjoy it.
It is a very basic book though. It is not meant to dive deep into theological terms; it is definitely more of a beginner’s book. But I believe the majority of church going Christians would fall into the beginner category, and this book would be helpful and benefiting to read.