The Comeback: It’s Not Too Late And You’re Never Too Far, by Louie Giglio
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Publishing/Passion Publishing in exchange for an honest book review.]
While the name of Louie Giglio was unfamiliar to me when I read this book, upon finding out that he was the multimedia mogul (minister, promoter, record label exec and publisher), I recognized that I was familiar with the music of Passion from their album “Better Is One Day ,” which came out when I was a college student, when that album had been promoted by an Evangelical group I was familiar with on campus at the University of Southern California in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Despite the author’s high profile, or maybe because of it, he spends a lot of time talking about his own comebacks, and the personal touch the author provides about coming back from financial problems, depression, the death of his father, and his own poor initial grades as a college student whose plans for seminary were nearly derailed by a lack of interest in doing what it took to get his four-year degree at Georgia State in his early adulthood. Not only is he honest about his own struggles, this book shows a great deal of compassion for the struggles of others that he writes about, whether a strung-out single mother whose life as an exotic dancer led her to despair , or the struggle of a widow of a cyclist mortally wounded when a bus ran into him to overcome despair and the loss of her lifelong sweetheart. Although this is a book about restoration and “comebacks,” a word that the author uses over and over again here, he does not in any way minimize difficulties or those areas where a full comeback is impossible, barring miraculous means–such as the death of family members, abuse, divorce, and other such disasters.
In terms of its contents, this book is straightforwardly organized with twelve chapters of between 15 and 20 pages apiece or so. The author first talks about an experience of an apparently miraculous drying of area for a conference in Texas, then looks at emotional comebacks in people as well as in scripture, from Golgotha to Lazarus of Bethany to Peter’s experience in receiving a gracious restoration after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and even including a vision that the author claims to have had on an airplane that led him to start Passion in the first place. There are a few aspects of the author’s thought that are clear from this book. For one, the author is unabashed in his praise of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, and convinced that those who read this book among the many books they could possibly be reading is due to some sort of divine providence. Although this particular noted tendency of the author may be a bit irritating to some readers, his obvious concern for others and sincerity in writing, and his ability both to understand Gospel passages, as well as some notable scriptures from the history of ancient Israel, and explain them in a witty and easily understood way mark him as a worthwhile communicator, and one who is not afraid to give a great deal of credit to others, as when the author summarizes Josh McDowell’s argument from Evidence That Demands A Verdict towards the end of the book when looking at the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ, a popular area for Christian apologetics .
Ultimately, this is a book about hope and encouragement, designed with a few specific reading audiences in mind. For one, the author seeks to give encouragement to those who are suffering difficulties in life, as a reminder that God has not abandoned them in their trials, forgotten them or their dreams, or viewed a struggle or setback as a sign that such people are being tossed aside as no longer profitable to God in service to Him and His glory. Additionally, this book is written to those who may be despondent that their sinful ways cut themselves off from any hope of salvation, to which the author responds with a fairly straightforward appeal to the gracious mercy of God through Jesus Christ that reminds us that we cannot earn salvation, but it is freely given to those who will seek after God. To be sure, there is a great deal about the way of life that believers are to live that is not discussed in this book, but it is written to encourage the broken to surrender their brokenness and burdens to God to find healing and wholeness, even if some of what has been lost will not be restored, at least not in a way that we would obviously expect. There is a season and a time for this sort of message in the lives of many people, and for that audience this book will likely be warmly appreciated and treasured.
 The title of this album, of course, was taken from Psalm 84. See also:
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