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Getting Back in the Race: The Cure for Backsliding [Kindle Edition]

Joel R. Beeke
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Christian life is a race. Through the gospel,God summons us to sustained and persevering effort. He empowers His children by grace—free and undeserved blessing through Christ. But He does not carry them to heaven on flowery beds of ease. Faith is a living, athletic grace. God’s mercy motivates Christians and energizes them to press on and overcome great obstacles. Christ blazed the trail before us. He now calls us to follow Him to the end (Hebrews 12:1–2). Looking unto Jesus—that is how we persevere. In Him is everything we need. But realistically speaking, Christians are not always pressing forward. Sometimes they wander off the narrow path, slip, and injure themselves. To the confused and injured runner, this book says, “God can help you. You can finish this race—and finish it well.”

Drawing from the wisdom of the Scriptures and aided by the insights of godly Bible teachers through the centuries, Getting Back in the Race addresses the age-old problem of backsliding. Backsliding is a season in the life of a professing Christian when his sin grows stronger and his obedience to God declines. The beginning of the book uncovers signs of sliding into a spiritual rut, for this is often more subtle than falling into scandalous sins. The rest of the book shows that there is hope for the backslider. God is so amazing! Even though our backsliding insults Him, dishonors Him, grieves Him, and pushes away His love, still He calls us to return to Him. When you grasp hold of God’s methods by faith, you discover that Christ has grasped hold of you. Our spiritual Physician has potent medicines to heal His people from their injuries and get them back on track to finish the race. This book is a wake-up call to careless Christians and an encouragement to all believers to keep running to the Lord.

Product Description

About the Author

Dr. Joel R. Beeke serves as President and Professor of Systematic Theology, Church History, and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He has been in the ministry since 1978 and has served as a pastor of his current church since 1986. He is also editor of the Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice-president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. He has written, co-authored, or edited fifty books and contributed over fifteen hundred articles to Reformed books, journals, periodicals, and encyclopedias. His Ph.D. (1988) from Westminster Theological Seminary is in Reformation and Post-Reformation Theology. He is frequently called upon to lecture at Reformed seminaries and to speak at conferences around the world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1936760355
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Cruciform Press (31 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00629ZJNG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #361,939 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 15 Nov. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Highly recommended as an excellent tool for pastors and for also any Christian who has backslidden!
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5.0 out of 5 stars havent syarted it yet but looks brilliant 19 Dec. 2014
By Aisha
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Haven't started it yet but a friend said it was brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 5 Nov. 2014
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Beautifully Written as it is Challenging 30 Nov. 2011
By Aaron Armstrong - Published on
We've all heard the term "backsliding" before, but what does it really mean? And just as importantly is there a cure? These questions are at the heart of Dr. Joel Beeke's new book, Getting Back in the Race: The Cure for Backsliding. In this concise work, Beeke gives readers a biblical understanding of the problem of backsliding and introducing the remedy that Scripture offers.

Christians must anticipate a life that is a continual cycle of sin and repentance. This, sadly, is what we must expect, even as we are gradually transformed more and more into the image of Christ. But backsliding is something outside the ordinary cycle of sin and repentance, and despite what you may have heard in a bad sermon, not every sin we commit is evidence of backsliding.

So what is backsliding, then? Backsliding, Beeke explains, is "a season of increasing sin and decreasing obedience in those who profess to be Christians. . . . [it] means to depart from the Word and the ways of the Lord" (pp. 16-17). Simply, it's an ongoing, habitual pattern of sin and rebellion--one that, the longer in which we persist, the more our claim to be a Christian is necessarily called into question for "repentance is the essence of true Christianity (Acts 2:38; 20:21; 26:18,20)" (p. 16).

Beeke's distinction between individual acts of sin and a habitual pattern is important. If every sin we ever committed were evidence of backsliding, we'd be left without a hint or hope of confidence that our salvation has surely been accomplished--and that the Holy Spirit is indeed at work within us (cf. Eph. 3:20). But this hopeless view is not what the Scriptures offer, despite the seriousness of backsliding.

And make no mistake, backsliding is a serious matter.

"The worst thing about backsliding is that it casts discredit on the name of the God who has given us so much grace," Beeke says.

"How it should wound God's people daily: "I am a backslider against him who gave himself up to death for six long, torturous hours hung upon a cross while mockers stood before him, saying, `Come down if thou be the Christ." The life of a backslider is an insult to Christ's love displayed for us at the cross." (p. 36)

This is a profound indictment. To call oneself a Christian, yet live in habitual, ongoing, unrepentant sin... the very thought should drive every one of us to our knees, pleading with Christ that we not fall prey to our natural inclination to wander. And as I read, I did find myself asking that I not fall prey, even as I began to recognize some of the warning signs that, if left unchecked would almost certainly lead to backsliding (see p. 22).

Having recently come through a season that is perhaps the closest I've every come to burnout, I could certainly recognize a sense of inner corruption and a level of comfort with the world (particularly in terms of language) that I'd not experienced since my earliest days as a Christian. Swearing might not seem to be a big thing for many, but I used to have quite a potty-mouth (seriously, I could have probably made your average hip-hop artist blush). So to hear my wife tell me (even as recently as a few days ago) tell me that I've been swearing a lot lately has caused me to take notice and seek the Lord's assistance in restoring joy to my soul.

So what is the cure for backsliding? How can a believer who has stumbled severely get back into the race? Beeke reminds us that it is but by the grace of God that we can recover as we pursue true repentance, the true use of the means of grace (prayer and the Word), and a true reaffirmation of our faith. But all of these are things we can only pursue when we've received the grace of God--when we recognize that we are truly and utterly dependent on Him in all things, even in our restoration. "Until God is your only hope, God will not be your only hope," as another author puts it so well.

And this is what makes this book so important for its readers--it is a book firmly rooted in the grace of God. We cannot escape our need for grace. It's grace that brings us to Christ and grace that keeps us with Him until the end. It's grace that allows us to obey and grace that calls us back when we rebel. It's grace that allows us to run the race and grace that allows us to get back up when we stumble and fall.

Getting Back in the Race: The Cure for Backsliding is a beautifully written book, one that is saturated by the Word of God. As an author, one of Beeke's greatest gifts is his reliance upon the Scriptures, for rarely a paragraph goes by without some direct reference or allusion it it. Like a skillful surgeon, he uses the Word to cut to the heart of the problem of backsliding and to the promise of restoration. For those who have experienced backsliding or those who recognize the threat in their own lives, I trust this book will be a great gift.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely, Biblical, Gospel-drenched and pastoral look at the nature and symptoms of backsliding and the perservance of the saints. 17 Nov. 2011
By Dave J. Jenkins - Published on
Nearly every week, I talk to Christians throughout the world who are struggling with appropriating their identity in Christ. They tell me, "I am struggling with (insert issue)." Often in such conversations with people, I wonder if they understand the root symptoms and causes of their struggles in the Christian life. Dr. Beeke understands this issue very well as a Pastor and seminary Professor he deals with backslidden believers, I'm sure on a nearly daily basis, which is why he wrote, Getting Back in the Race: the Cure for Backsliding.

Dr. Beeke's purpose in writing this book is to "awaken Christians to the reality of backsliding, to help us recognize it when it starts, to show where it may lead, and to empower believers- those who are in the grip of backsliding, or those in a position to help the afflicted--to get back into the race by the grace of God" (Beeke, 12). One of his intended goals is to introduce his readers to the vast area thought on backsliding from Christian writers of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries (Beeke, 12). Sadly, as he rightly notes on page 12 backsliding is not a topic that is often discussed in the Church. This book is saturated in the Bible and the Gospel. Getting Back in the Race was written by a Pastor who longs for Christ's backslidden people to return to their Chief Shepherd the Lord Jesus Christ. Getting Back in the Race: the Cure for Backsliding is an extended treatment on backsliding and the perservance of the saints.

Chapter one is the most helpful chapter in my opinion as the author sets forth to explain the root causes of backsliding and how to overcome them. Here he explains that, "backsliding is a season of increasing sin and decreasing obedience in those who profess to be Christians" (Beeke, 16). Especially convicting is the author's description of what symptoms demonstrate a believer whose backsliding: coldness in prayer, indifference under the Word, growing inner corruptions, the love of the world, declining love for believers, and man-centered hopes" (Beeke, 22). After explaining the symptoms of backsliding the author turns to explain the results of backsliding: injury to God's holy and worthy name, suffering, sin and apostasy of children and decay of the church (Beeke, 35-37).

Chapters two through four explain Hosea 14:1-9 by focusing on the physician of grace, the medicine of grace and the healing of grace. Throughout these chapters Dr. Beeke faithfully explains and applies Hosea 14:1-9 in a way that honors the Scriptures and draws the reader to the Gospel. In the conclusion, Beeke exhorts his readers to look to the suffering, bloody Savior who bled on behalf of His elect people who, because of His finished work persevere to the end. In other words Dr. Beeke is exhorting Christian readers that because of Christ's finished and sufficient work in the Cross and the resurrection to run the race to the end.

Getting Back in the Race: the Cure for Backsliding is a very helpful book that will help many believers to understand the nature and symptoms of backsliding in order to avoid the many pitfalls that befall believers. As I read this book, I could not help but see areas in my own walk with God that need to be addressed, for example occasionally, I get cold in my prayer life. Rather than merely focusing on "why I'm cold" in prayer life, I appreciate how Dr. Beeke calls his readers back to the Cross and the empty tomb in order to have greater assurance and confidence in Christ. Perseverance increases assurance. Those who persist in works that spring from faith will attain high levels of assurance, which is why believers must persevere to the end in faith, holiness and obedience.
I recommend you pick up a copy of Getting Back in the Race: the Cure for Backsliding--it will help you deal with areas in your own walk with God that need to be addressed while encouraging you to look to the cross, mediate upon the cross, and run to the cross as you follow Christ in all of life.

Title: Getting Back in The Race: The Cure for Backsliding
Author: Dr. Joel R. Beeke
Publisher: Cruciform Press 2011

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cure of Backsliding Found Here 27 Jan. 2013
By Mathew Sims - Published on
Joel Beeke has written a treatise for curing backsliding (defined as),
Backsliding is a season of increasing sin and decreasing obedience in those who profess to be Christians. Not every sin is backsliding. Christians must sadly expect their lives to consist of a continual cycle of sinning and repenting of sin by faith in Christ crucified (1 John 1:9-2:2). In backsliding, however, this cycle of repentance is broken and spiritual ground is lost. (Kindle Locations 220-223)
This cure is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ (see KL 147, 1082 & 1118 of 2383). Beeke unpacks Hosea 14:1-9 for his main points in each chapter (Runners Stumbling, Runners Returning, Runners Receiving, and Runners Recovering).

His exposition of this Old Testament text in a way which highlights Jesus's saving work shines. He urges us Christ has gone before us in the race and he's the Way that we run the race to God on. Christ is all in all during our pilgrimage. He exclaims,
Oh, for Christians who reject man-centered hope and live with a holy expectation in God and a proper sense of their own unworthiness! Holy expectation is built on the Word and worked by the Spirit. It looks beyond self and man. It sees that although our sins pile up to heaven, Christ's substitutionary righteousness ascends still higher, to the very throne of God, with his Father's stamp of approval. "Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities" (Psalm 130:6-7). (Kindle Locations 528-532)

Quite honestly, this book is ordinary. Here's what I mean. I run and enjoy running races. I run a 10K race in Charleston, SC almost every years. A few years ago when I ran, I crested the steep bridge on the course and noticed a solitary runner nearing the end of the course. This was the winner of the race. He had finished the course far ahead of me. I might like to believe I could run that fast but it's not possible. However, I did finish the race. To finish the race didn't require anything extraordinary. It required running and eating well (relatively) for about 90 days before the race. And that is what Beeke provides here--ordinary means. He urges us towards repentance and an understanding of our sanctification, adoption, and justification (1286 of 2383). He recommends the ordinary means of grace. And all of this is rooted in Trinitarian delight (see especially 1024 of 2383). "In the deepest sense, God's grace is Christ himself, for he came `full of grace and truth'" (1052 of 2383).

For those who are confused between the benefits and necessary difference between justification and sanctification (1656 of 2383 for a concise definition of sanctification), I would highly recommend this book. Beeke exposes both doctrines fully and provides a helpful compare and contrast (1286 & 1319 of 2383). Don't be fooled. Again it's all about Christ. "Christ is all. If you would make any progress in the Christian life, you must embrace him as the sum and substance of your salvation. He says to us still, `From me is thy fruit found.'" (1581 of 2383). Beeke writes in the pastoral style of the Puritans of old. He skillfully uncovers sin, knowledgeably recommends the Cure, and drives us closer to the Cross. These pages drip with pastoral care and love for Christ. If you know you're love for Christ has waned, I urge you to read this book. And if you don't think your love has waned but you want encouragement for your race and desire to protect your heart from forgetting your first love then I urge you to read this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Back in the Race: The Cure for Backsliding 17 July 2012
By Lord Kikuchiyo - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All I can say right now, is that this is a great book. If you are backsliding, you must read this book. This book points out the "symptoms" of backsliding and then the "cure" which--sounds corny but it does a very good job at diagnosing and then helping you overcome it. Truly, this is a book everyone must have, it is only a little amount of money, around 100 pages, but the book is golden. Even if you have not backslid, you must read this book to 1) understand it 2) help others who backslid. Anyway 5/5 for the book.

God bless!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Identifying, mitigating, and containing the bane of backsliding 2 Oct. 2012
By Lauren S. Bottomly - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My pastor had just read this book when he recommended it to me. His recommendation was a great boon, and it showed the depth of his insight. Getting Back in the Race is a very well written modern guide to backsliding. I have found Owen and Plumer to be extremely helpful in the area of backsliding and they write with extraordinary depth on this difficult topic--and backsliding is a difficult topic because sin and spiritual failure are difficult things to face. I have not read any other modern sources on backsliding, and I profess no expertise whatever on extricating myself from a black hole or even noticing very readily that I am floundering in one. But suffice to say that I regard Getting Back in the Race as the best modern book on backsliding that I can imagine there being.

Backsliding is the bane of the Christian specifically because it undermines our assurance. It begins as a subtle attitude problem which we can usually recognize. Mine tends toward the script, "If I were saved, I wouldn't feel this way about____." But backsliding is sinister because its toxicity metastasizes to the whole church. Beeke quotes Plumer: "...backsliding operates like a spiritual cancer: left untreated, it can result in dishonor to God's name, personal suffering, apostasy of others, and decay in the church. At best, it is unwise to take a `wait and see' approach when such consequences are on the line." And then begins the good news, God's faithful power and will to heal.

Because backsliding is a treacherous condition a Christian will never cease to encounter this side of glory, this is a book a Christian should read and always have at the ready to review. Pastor Beeke provides the necessary tools to identify, mitigate, and contain backsliding. There simply can't be anything more important than preserving one's faith and one's church from the virulence of backsliding.
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