Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book Review: The Grace of God

I recently had the opportunity to read and review The Grace of God by Andy Stanley.  From the publisher:
Learn how God's grace can and will transform you.
None of us deserve what God offers, a life free from sin and hope for a glorious future, but unbelievably it's ours for the taking. Why? Because of God's grace. The unmerited favor, the lavish love and kindness he pours out on us, and has, since Creation.
But if it's so available then why do we live a grace-less life? Why are our churches filled with disillusioned Christians, weary of religion's demands, struggling with personal defeat because of issues or behaviors?
Join pastor Andy Stanley as he traces grace through the Old and New Testament, observing God's grace at work in the lives of some of the best, and worst, characters. He also uses personal stories from his own life to reveal how grace is not a natural response but is the most essential one. Together these stories unravel the mystery of grace and tell of its transforming power to set us free.

My Take:  I hate to review a book when I haven't finished reading it unless it is a devotional type of thing, or something else intended to be used over a long period of time.  However, this is not a book I could sit down and read quickly.  I'm finding myself reading a portion of a chapter at a time, and needing to take time to ponder what I'm reading.  As I got further into the book, I could read bigger pieces in a sitting, but I still have a ways to go.

At this point, I'm still very much in the Old Testament section of this book, and I think it will get even better as I reach the New Testament.  Every section gives me something to consider.  I've definitely listened to the culture that talks about the God of the New Testament being a God of Grace.

So far in the book, I'm seeing the grace of the Old Testament too.  The grace of giving us all but one tree.  The grace in not giving us what we deserved when we sin.  The grace of an unconditional promise to Abram. 

I think my favorite chapter so far is the one on Joseph and Judah.  One concept in this chapter has to do with the idea of reaping what you sow, and there being two exceptions to the general rule.  Sin sometimes causes good people don't reap the good that they deserve.  But the converse is true also:  "The presence of grace means that sometimes we don't get the consequences we deserve.  Grace is the vehicle God uses on occasion to ensure that we get precisely what we don't deserve."  (Emphasis in the original.)

I am truly enjoying this book. 

Disclaimer:  As Booksneeze Blogger, I did receive this book for free from Thomas Nelson.  No other compensation was received.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.


Kara said...

It reminds me of Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges, which I read not too long ago. I missed the chance to review this one, but it sounds really good! I may have to get ahold of a copy!

Debra said...

Ooh, Kara, I will have to look for that one too. I am getting so much out of this book, I'd love to read another perspective!