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Monday, November 8, 2010

THE GRACE OF GOD by Andy Stanley - Book review

The Grace of God - Book Promo Video from Andy Waddell on Vimeo.

Andy Stanley is a pastor, communicator, author, and the founder of North Point Ministries, Inc. (NPM). Since its inception in 1995, North Point Ministries has grown from one campus to three in the Atlanta area, and has helped plant fourteen strategic partner churches throughout the United States. Each Sunday, over 20,000 adults attend worship services at one of NPM's three campuses, North Point Community Church, Browns Bridge Community Church, and Buckhead Church. Andy's books include It Came From Within, Communicating for a Change, Making Vision Stick, and Next Generation Leader. Andy lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife, Sandra, and their three children.

From the back cover: "Grace. It's what we crave most when our guilt is exposed. It's the very thing we are hesitant to extend when we are confronted with the guilt of others-especially when their guilt has robbed us of something we cosider valuable.
Therein is the struggle, the struggle for grace. It's the struggle that makes grace more story than doctrine. It's the struggle that reminds us that grace is bigger than compassion or forgiveness. That struggle is the context for both. When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything. This struggle is not new; it has been going on since the beginning."

We find in the pages of Scripture that the stories there often mirror our own stories, and that we too need the very thing we do not deserve: the grace of God.

In this thoughtful, well-written book, Andy Stanley writes about grace with sensitivity and compassion. He notes that grace is not merely a New Testament concept, but that in fact, God's grace permeates all of Scripture, beginning in the garden of Eden. God has always offered grace. Stanley revisits the fall of mankind, the accounts of Abraham, Isaac. Jacob, Joseph, Judah, Tamar, Joshua, Rahab, Moses and the giving of the Law, Samuel, David and Bathsheba, Jonah, the genealogy of the Messiah, the Pharisees, Nicodemus, the woman at the well, Matthew, Peter, and others.

Each chapter is fully developed, and contains Scripture references. Main points are highlighted in bold type.
Stanley concludes with a challenge. "In your story you are going to continue searching for a reason God should love you. In your story you are going to continue finding reasons why he shouldn't. So here's my suggestion: give up your version of your story and embrace his.
In his story, he loves you no matter what you've done.
In his story, he doesn't love you because of what you've done.
In his story, he could not love you more and he will never love you less.
It's a better story. It's a true story. It's a story of grace. The grace of God!"

I found the chapters to be a bit long, but the book is thoroughly written, easy to understand, and never technical. I highly recommend this book. It is an essential message for us to grasp, and Stanley does an excellent job in telling it clearly.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available October 2010 at your favourite bookseller."

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