Verdict: WHEN WE FAIL, GOD IS STILL NEAR offers reassurance and encouragement for the Bible-believing Christian going through a difficult time.
The author argues that even in the midst of failure, a Christian should not succumb to despair, but should focus on God’s love.
Avril Kennedy is a committed and devout Christian, who believes that failure, despair, guilt and shame are tools of the devil to keep people separated from God, and that God’s love is unconditional, even when people fail in their dreams or commit sins. She encourages an optimistic theology that sees God’s forgiveness as complete and unearned, given freely to anyone who believes in Christ, for all sins committed in the past, present, and even the future. While she believes that those who truly love God will not want to sin, she does not believe that sin separates the Christian from the love of God, nor failure either. Therefore, the Christian who has failed in achieving a goal, or who has committed a sin, should run back to, rather than away from, God, and should draw strength from the knowledge that they are truly and completely loved by God.
Written exclusively and specifically for those of the Christian faith. Kennedy’s is a powerfully positive and uplifting theology that no doubt can offer great comfort to believing Christians going through painful times in their lives. Her words are eloquent and passionate, with great energy and devotion behind them. The writing is clear but poetically vivid, with a rhythmic forcefulness that, in places, positively begs to be read aloud. The short length of the book, its emotional intensity, and its verbal rhythms make it more akin to a long sermon than a dry theological text, which enhances its accessibility for those already struggling with depression. She bases her arguments clearly on the Bible, quoting it liberally throughout, and also draws from her own experience and relationship to God. While the book’s size is an asset to its purpose in some ways, it also limits the book to the level of a general exhortation- the addition of a few appendices with specific and practical exercises and meditations might enhance it further.
WHEN WE FAIL, GOD IS STILL NEAR offers reassurance and encouragement for the Bible-believing Christian going through a difficult time.