Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Joel R. Beeke, Getting Back in the Race: The Cure for Backsliding (n.p.: Cruciform Press, 2011). Paperback. 109pp.

Reviewed by Ryan McGraw

Backsliding is a great curse upon the individual soul as well as upon the church. The tragedy of backsliding is that few people identify until it is too late. 

In this short book, Joel Beeke helps us identify the nature, causes and remedies of spiritual backsliding. He defines backsliding as, “a season of increasing sin and decreasing obedience in those who profess to be Christians” (16). 

Not every sin indicates a backslidden state. However, Chapter 1 masterfully pierces into the depths of our souls showing us how far we often have fallen from true spiritual vitality without realizing it. Dr. Beeke has cited a wide range of authors in a short space in order to introduce his readers to a wealth of valuable materials on the subject of backsliding and spiritual vitality. Each chapter of the work begins with an illustration taken from runners in a race and the chapter headings reflect this accordingly. 

The material is drawn from an extended exposition of Hosea 14, thus rooting his teaching soundly in Scripture. Readers who are familiar with other works by Dr. Beeke will justifiably expect from him high quality and soul-nourishing material. This book does not disappoint in this regard. While delving into the dark resources of our souls and forcing us to come to terms with the sins of our hearts in a way that will make most of us uncomfortable, the author wonderfully magnifies the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

My prayer is that the Triune God would use this little book to awaken His people to their current spiritual weakness and its cure in the covenant of grace. If the church continues to remain insensible to its backslidden condition, then we will face apostasy on an even wider scale in the not too distant future. Christians of all ages and denominations should digest this material carefully.

The preceding review appeared previously in The Banner of Truth.