I recently read God for the Rest of Us by Vince Antonucci, and my first response after finishing it was simply, “Wow!” Antonucci does a fantastic job of addressing how God is for all of us, even the people who are traditionally marginalized, or even unwelcome in the church. Since I attend a “church for unchurched people”, I can’t help but love Antonucci’s focus on God’s unconditional love.
This book quickly drew me in with anecdotes about his experiences as a pastor mixed with the undeniably true message of God’s love. On page one, Antonucci took me to a place that “good Christians” typically avoid: the Old Strip in Las Vegas. And quickly he showed how God’s love is just as powerful there as anywhere else, and how transformative God’s love can be “for the rest of us”.
Antonucci doesn’t shy away from the hard topics. He addresses sexual sin, doubt, addition, enslavement, hypocrisy, divorce, brokenness and more in his book. But as he explores these sticky subjects, he does it in grace and uses sound Biblical teaching to show how Jesus came for all the people, not just the picture-perfect, church-going, stereotypical Christians. Even more than this, Antonucci shows how stereotypical American Christians can be utterly broken when they start serving the very people who are traditionally overlooked by the church. The game changes when people start looking at others as God sees them, not how the world sees them.
As the back of the book says, God for the Rest of Us will truly “wake you up to the outrageous, extravagant, and even scandalous love of God for the rest of us…” Antonucci doesn’t tell us what God is against, but rather chooses to show what God is for: the misfits, the addicts, the tattooed, the hurting, the sinner, the doubter…for all of us.
I can’t recommend this book enough, because I think we all need a reminder that God is for us, right where we are. Not where we want to be, or where we ought to be, but right where we are. And when God is for us, we can be shocked by His unconditional, overwhelming love. A love that is for all of us.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale, in exchange for my honest review. Affliate links were used in this post.