Thursday, April 10, 2014

Uncovered by Rod Tucker - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Greg was homeless. As he walked through the park one day, he was surrounded by people. Good people. Caring people. Christian people. People doing ministry. But people totally oblivious to Greg. No one saw him, talked to him, noticed him, or tried to minister to him. The Christians were preoccupied—working hard on the ministry they were putting together—a ministry intended to provide help and healing to the most vulnerable in their city, a ministry designed to reach . . . the homeless!

How do Christians, benefactors of the overwhelming grace of an immeasurably generous God, fail so miserably at showing and distributing—of all things—grace?

In voice and style evocative of Donald Miller and Scot McKnight, yet with a message all his own, Rod Tucker explores how we Christians have become masters of self-deceptive and fake moral living. Just like Adam and Eve, we don’t want anyone to know we are spiritually naked. But covering up around God denies us the freedom of his grace. Until we can be honest with ourselves, honest with God, and honest with others, daily grace will continue to elude us, either as gift received or as gift given. We remain trapped in our Botox spirituality until we come to grips with exactly who we are.

My Thoughts:
So how can the church become a safe place for people to enter into true community?  I can imagine that the answers to that question are quite diverse and for some, extremely complicated. My point in asking the question is not to provide an answer.” (p 93)

Rod Tucker’s book, Uncovered, presents a lot of general statements like the one above that lead the reader in a series of circles.  He’s all about being honest and safe and telling folks the gospel – loving them like Jesus loves them, but he doesn’t want anyone to feel condemned or unsafe in church.  He even uses examples of his gay friends feeling condemned in his presence when he never knew he was saying anything condemning.  Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit, so I’m surprised that Tucker doesn’t realize that the Holy Spirit’s presence in his life convicts people of sin.

While I realize that people can’t affect spiritual transformation in the heart, I am fully convinced that if someone repents from sin that the Holy Spirit will convict and life change will occur.  So in the absence of that change – as displayed one of the folks in chapter 12 – their sinful choices never changed they just found a “safe” place to worship.  That, to me is even more dangerous, because if the truth of God’s Word is “safe” according to Tucker’s definition – it is ineffective.  And I KNOW that not true.

So, Uncovered needs to be reconsidered in the light of God’s Word. I work in a VERY morally diverse job, so I know what it means to show the love of Jesus to folks without condemning them.  I will never speak condemnation to them, but the Holy Spirit will continue His work in their hearts, and that will either produce repentance and a life of transformational change – or outright rebellion of God altogether. 

John 3: 18-21

About the Author:
Rod Tucker is the founding pastor of The River:pm, a church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and author of Remembering a Forgotten Grace: Thoughts on Shame, Beauty, Romance, and Radiance. Growing up attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with his parents instilled in Rod the necessity of honesty, the urgency of grace, and the beauty of community. Through books, speaking, and various forms of media, he seeks to open conversations with real people who are pursuing a real God. Find out more at

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