When we draw inspiration from “the great cloud of witnesses” to the Christian faith (Hebrews 12:1), we often forget that many of those witnesses were people we might shun and condemn if we met them today: namely, convicts and criminals. In his fourth book, Jens Soering demonstrates that, despite committing or abetting theft, murder, and even terrorism, figures like Adam and Eve, Samson, and Paul were raised to places of honor in what we might call the Church of the Second Chance. In fact, the stories of these biblical outlaws contain the clues to solving a social crisis that has been building for over thirty years: the problem of America’s prisons.
Today, criminal justice experts and legislators are struggling to fix the public health and safety disasters resulting from mass incarceration in the United States. The Church of the Second Chance explains how victims, offenders, and society at large can heal through the careful, considered and Christian application of the same key that freed Moses, David, and others to do great things after they broke the law. Each chapter begins with a fruitful Bible study, goes on to examine a crucial problem besetting our jails and penitentiaries, and ends with an interview that demonstrates how people are working today, in and out of prison, to apply God’s word to our own lives and times.