Book Review 14: “Restore” by Vince Antonucci

***DISCLAIMER***I received a complimentary copy of this book for free from Tyndale House for review purposes.

Vince Antonucci pastors an “innovative church” called Verve in Las Vegas, Nevada (p. 291). His book Restore is about the “journey to a restored life” (p. 9). He claims that God does the restoration for the individual but “we have a part to play” (p. 3). This borderline (if not definite) synergistic teaching seemingly makes God work on a quid-pro-quo level (which is contrary to what the Scriptures say since salvation is a gift, per Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8-9, among others). He organizes the book into six “steps” (essentially a section, each step supposedly leading to “freedom”), spanning thirty chapters (called “days” in this book). He claims that “Reading and really engaging in this book is going to cost you something” (p. 46). I find that interesting because aside from the time it took to read the book, it did not really cost me anything. Maybe the “time” is what he meant by that.

As for my opinion of the book, I would not recommend it to anyone. At the book’s ending, in a section titled “About the Author”, it notes how Antonucci does stand-up comedy in Las Vegas (p. 291). Instead of pastoring a church, he should stick to the comedy. While I certainly do not oppose a sense of humor, his humor bleeds everywhere in this book, making it hard to take him seriously even when he is discussing serious matters in both his own life and life itself. Other things that run rampant in this book include but are not limited to New-Age terminology (inexcusable since he is a Christian pastor), a minimization of sin (he often, but not always, refers to it as the “past” or a “mess”, which is both vague and not entirely accurate), narcigesis (reading yourself into the biblical text), false teaching (the aforementioned synergism and his false concept of what Christianity really is; see page 66 for the latter) and logical fallacies (such as “tu quoque”; see day 4 in pages 37-43). If I am a Christian that wants to learn more about God’s Word and what true, accurate restoration is based on what the Scriptures say, I will not look to Vince Antonucci’s Restore. I may look to him for comedic relief, but I would definitely not look to him for anything of a theological nature. Aside from research purposes, stay away from this book.

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