The Grace of God by Andy Stanley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program. Many people consider God as portrayed in the old testament to be vengeful compared with the picture of love displayed by Jesus. I find that quite puzzling. You don't need to read too far to find God offering forgiveness to those who don't deserve it. Andy Stanley starts in Genesis and works his way through the bible looking at how God has been offering grace to those who least deserve it from the time of Adam and Eve onwards. He also looks at how God's discipline shows His love for us.
The church has often failed to show the world what grace really looks like. It's hard to give others grace and often we fall into the temptation of thinking we can earn God's favour instead a realising that firstly, we are always going to fall short and secondly we don't need to earn anything. Grace is what the world needs. In Andy Stanley's words:
“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 consider valuable.
Therein is the struggle, the struggle for grace. It’s this 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.”
An excellent book. I'd highly recommend this for Christians and also to those who haven't yet grasped what a gift the grace of God really is.