Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book Review: The Grace of God by Andy Stanley

The Grace of God by Andy Stanley is by far the most enlightening book that I have read this year. Stanley explains grace in a way that I've never heard before.
I read this book in three days and turned it around to start over again. I couldn't put it down, but there was just too much information to digest the first time around.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone anywhere. It would make a great book for new Christians as well as experienced ones. It would also make a great Bible study for a small group. With 13 chapters and tons of scripture references, a small group could read a chapter or two a week and discuss it. I can imagine no greater faith builder than discussing the meaning of the Grace of God.

I've sat under many preachers and never heard them explain grace in this way. Stanley illustrates his point with scriptures and stories from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

He begins with creation, explaining that the very act of creating the world and eventually man is an act of God's grace. He continues with Adam and Eve and the first sin and their need for grace. He follows the same train of thought through the Old Testament and into the New Testament. Using historical background that is not included in the scriptures, Stanley throws light on the reason why it was so important for Jesus to speak to the Samaritan woman at the well. Stanley highlights the historical significance of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Tax Collectors so that we might better understand the incredible amount of Grace Jesus shared throughout his ministry.

But, Stanley doesn't end with Christ's death. He continues through church history showing how the church deviated from the gospel and surmising why grace was not enough for their religion. He ends with today's church and asks some poignant questions about today's churches and today's religion. He explains the meaning of graceless religion in a way that will forever stick in my mind.

Stanley gave me new understand of God's grace, my faith, and the need for trust in God. It was as though he provided a key to understanding every story in the Bible not to mention the true meaning of "by grace we are saved."

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