The Barnabas Ministry
Book Review

What's So Amazing About Grace?
By Philip Yancey (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI 1997. Hardcover)

What's So Amazing About Grace? is a stunning and riveting look at an easily-neglected topic. When grace isn't understood, it can be dismissed as another ethereal, incomprehensible topic. But Yancey does a great job of making grace clear-- in all its illogical glory.

Yancey discusses apparent paradoxes of God's grace: Jesus' forgiveness of the "sinners" and his condemnation of the "godly" religious people. He offers great insight and perspective, showing that God is vastly different from us concerning grace. The sooner we learn this, the better off we'll be.

But Yancey goes further to challenge us about grace. We all like to receive grace, but do we like to give it as well? Yancey discusses extending grace in the church, but goes outsides the walls of the church and talks about grace in social and political issues today. The Holocaust, homosexuality, crime, wars and other divisive issues are addressed, as is the typical lack of grace on the part of most evangelical Christians. In fact, Charles Colson suggests that this book has something in it "to make everyone mad." His commentary shows how much our thinking needs to be transformed by a better perspective on God's grace.

After I finished reading this book at a park, I packed up the children and headed off to the convenience store for some much-needed liquid refreshment on a hot day. However, I left my copy of this book on the roof of the van and drove off. 

A few hours later, I realized what I had done and returned to the scene of the loss. I found sheets of paper that I had in the book, but no sign of the book itself. Though irritated with my own absent-mindedness, I can't help but think that God wanted a copy of this book in someone else's hands, and that was the most expedient way to do it. I just received a bit of an object lesson in the giving of grace; if whoever found the book reads it and gets only a portion out of it compared to what I got out of it, that would be OK.

I can't think of a better book to shed light on God's grace in our lives and in our world today. Read this book, then recommend it or give it to someone else.

Copyright © 2001 John Engler. All rights reserved.

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