Subscribe now

Second Chance: Whatever your failing, God can use you again

By R. T. Kendall
July 2008 | Review by Peter Culver
  • Publisher: Hodder
  • ISBN: 978-0340954928
  • Pages: 238
  • Price: £27.00
Buy this book »

Book Review


Can those who fall in Christ’s service be restored – not only to him but to his service? This book holds out hope and compassion particularly to those whose fall has been a public affair. But Kendall ministers to us all. Which of us have not felt the sting of failure at some point?

A glance at the chapter headings gives a flavour of the book – God’s house; Ending well; God’s blueprint; The quality of the superstructure; Money and sex; Power; The mighty fallen; The returning backslider; Repentance; and Simon Peter.

Kendall’s approach to spiritual effectiveness and recovery from a fall is no soft touch. Each of these easy-to-read chapters holds many valuable challenges, insights and lessons. With judicious leadership they could form a series of studies for a home group.

Kendall’s thrust is how we build our lives on Christ, dealing with many issues that flaw God’s people such as money, sex, lust for power and recognition. He draws on the great characters of God’s word to back up his arguments – giving useful insights on such cases as Saul’s rejection by God and God’s choice of David, and Joseph’s stand against adultery.

He repeatedly emphasises that the only way to keep close to Christ is genuine heart repentance – the only way of restoration. As you would expect, Kendall looks helpfully at the prodigal son and Peter’s restoration.

The author concludes: ‘At the judgment seat of Christ, about which this book has had a lot to say, it will be your personal relationship with God that will matter most’. Amen to that!

However, his teaching on suffering loss or reward at Christ’s judgement seat can lead us away from the Reformed emphasis on the holiness demanded of all God’s children – ‘By their fruits you will know them’. Also, at times, Kendall sails closer to charismatic phenomena than some might wish.

Nevertheless, his writing is robust and challenges us to higher things in Christ while holding out hope to those who have fallen. He makes it clear that the important thing is the integrity of our relationship with Christ, rather than any public ministry we have had or may wish to have.

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
God’s design for women in an age of gender confusion
Sharon James

Is our belief in male headship culturally outdated, and should we see alternative ideas of marriage as ‘progress’? Is it possible to be born into the wrong body, and is sexual freedom good for women? Does Scripture show us a…

Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…