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The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    An Absolute Game-Changer

    Larry Taunton doesn't beat around the bush. In "The Grace Effect," he goes straight for the jugular. And if the truth were ever hard to swallow, it's now - in the wake of a century dominated by men who disregarded the very cornerstone of Western civilization: Christianity. The results were absolutely devastating. And we've nearly forgotten it all, as a number of influential academics is naively floating the bogus notion that Christianity is an irrational relic of the past and should be eradicated from public life. But Larry Taunton, as a historian, is not about to let that happen. For a firsthand account of what life really looks like in a world without Christianity, Taunton takes you on an irreverent romp through the rubble of secularist thinking as he tells of his family's adoption of a precious Ukrainian orphan girl: Sasha. And in that world, Sasha's life is deemed far from precious. Yet Sasha's hope is irrepressible and her story magnificent. Her resilience and triumph over the world of the godless is a testimony to the one and only thing that can trump an entire century of corruption - grace. This book will make you furious. This book will make you cheer. This book is a wake-up call. And it's most powerful because it isn't a theory - it's the story of a real life. A life that shouldn't be ignored. A life that grace didn't ignore.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    A Remarkable Book

    "The Grace Effect" is one of those rare books that defies categorization. On the surface, the book tells the triumphant story of an orphan girl whose life is transformed - a powerful story, and a true story. But it is much more than that. As other reviews have noted, it lays out a compelling case for the need for authentic Christianity in society. The book reads very conversationally as Taunton richly infuses his narrative with history, humor, and helpful illustrations from his own past.

    It is a book that will entertain you, frustrate you (on Sasha's behalf), and make you think. I couldn't recommend it more.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2011

    Wonderful Read

    I finished reading, The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief by Larry Taunton. This book not only educated me on the arguments of why a society benefits from Christian influence, but it also enlightened me to the plight of other countries who are not touched by the hand of God¿s people.
    Through sharing his experience of adopting a ten year old girl from the Ukraine, Taunton explains the vast differences between American culture/politics/attitudes and those formerly under the control of communist rule.
    His story brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion as he explains the moral destitute of lives without the benefit of Christ. He correlates this with a discussion he had with a New Atheists, Christopher Hitchens, regarding how societies benefit from the Grace Effect. He explains that even if a citizen is not a Christian, they benefit from having Christians in society. His rational for how true Christianity (not just the appearance/name) influences a society in a positive way, whereas a society void of grace can only bring despair and the eventual down fall of that society.
    His real life examples mixed with historical testaments makes one see the realities of how grace, or the lack thereof, affects us all in some degree. He articulately demonstrates how Christianity in an environment is essential to growth and how many pervert these truths to suite their own agenda¿s while blatantly ignoring countless examples of how graces changes lives and countries.
    The touching story of the extent his family went in order to adopt one child is extraordinary. Witnessing grace through the life of this child will move even the most stringent in heart. I highly recommend this reading to anyone, especially those who have adopted or are planning on adopting from abroad.
    I also recommend this book to anyone who, like me, has little knowledge of communism, socialism and atheism. This book will open your eyes to thoughts and ideas you may have rarely ever encountered. It will educate you on where our society has been and where it may be headed. While all of this may sound boring, the way Taunton articulates it will have you on the edge of your seat ready to read the next page. I know I could hardly put this book aside; I had to know what happened next!
    This book was provided complimentary by BookSneeze for the purpose of review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Beautiful and Inspirational

    Words cannot really express how this book speaks to the heart. It is a perfect story for those who are new to Christianity, those who want to grow more in knowledge about it or their faith and especially those who want to believe but need that extra push or evidence. It is a very true and classic story of Good vs. Evil, as it really gives the contrasts of a country where its society is filled with love and God compared to a country where the entire society seems to be made up of corruption, selfishness and hate. Definitely one book that is difficult to stop reading and one that is personally truly inspirational.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very touching story

    This is a wonderful book that tell us the story of Sasha, a Ukrainian orphan girl who is adopted by the author's family and has a deep everlasting effect on their lives as well as on the lives of those surrounding them. The author narrates in full details all the incredibly difficult saga of the adoption process in Ukraine, a society governed by corruption and still impregnated with socialism culture of atheism. And at the end, that is the proof that a world without Christianity is a cold world, where people do not care about their orphan children and where there is no grace at all.

    I was very happy and full of hope after reading this book, for finding people that still try to live according to the word of God. Congratulations to Mr. Larry Taunton and his family for giving us this wonderful example of life and resolution. And example is the best way for educating people.

    This is a very inspirational and powerful book. I recommend this book to be in the permanent library of all Christians and they should read constantly to remind them on the importance of Christianity in society.

    This book was written by Larry Alex Taunton and published by Thomas Nelson in November of 2011 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011


    I received a copy of THE GRACE EFFECT: HOW THE POWER OF ONE LIFE CAN REVERSE THE CORRUPTION OF UNBELIEF by Larry Alex Taunton from Thomas Nelson, via BookSneeze. As soon as I looked over the back cover, I was excited to start reading. The author, Larry Taunton, meets Sasha, an Ukrainian orphan. Atheistic theorists had shaped her, but with his guidance, she embraces God through the power of grace. The book began a bit slow and dry. It felt more like a textbook, but the words were interesting, describing the goal of atheists , and leading into the debate about God, as driven by atheists versus Christians. From there, the story began, with Larry Taunton and his family in an airport. The actual story is well written enough to make you feel as if you are there with them. Larry Taunton writes with exhilarating voice and insight, bringing the people to life. Actual photographs are interspersed throughout the chapters, and each chapter begins with a quote from somewhere else, such as the Ukraine Travel Guide. Dialogue is woven amongst information, keeping the reading grounded in the truth behind the words. By the last page, I had tears in my eyes. It is definitely the type of book to pass on for others to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    How the power of one life can make a change

    Exodus 22:22-24 (CEB) Don’t treat any widow or orphan badly. If you do treat them badly and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I’ll hear their cry. I’ll be furious, and I’ll kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows, and your children will be orphans.

    This verse is from the Hebrew law code. God warned his people not to treat the foreigner unfairly, each one had a responsibility to protect those that could not protect themselves. God reminded his people, “You were once slaves…. you once lived in darkness.” Which raises the question, who are the strangers in our own world? Who are the immigrants? Who are the refugees? How can we as a nation continue to be sensitive to those who struggle?

    Larry Alex Taunton is the founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation which is an organization that seeks new and innovative ways to defend and proclaim the Gospel and to prepare Christians to do the same.

    The Grace Effect is a powerful narrative that really tells two stories at the same time. The first is the heartwarming story of an American family that tries to adopt a 10 year old Ukrainian girl named Sasha. Throughout the book the author repeatedly brings you into both humerus and frustrating stories about the adoptive process as well as comparing side by side the differences between American and Soviet countries.

    The book is also about the New brand of Atheism and how it is growing in America. And so the premise of the book becomes brilliant as Taunton shows you what a country without Christ looks like in the Ukranian story, all the while showing the “possible road ahead” for America.

    Taunton’s voice is both direct and humerus, an easy read no matter what your style. The book is filled with pictures as well as many inspirational quotes from literature and television. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2015

    An adoptive father's perspective

    A truly excellent book!

    My wife & I adopted 2 boys from Siberia in 2002 & 2004. The Tyumen region is only slightly better than Ukraine. Larry Taunton's stories of the adoption process are spot on & his highlighting of the differences between a judeo-christian culture & a post-communist culture are truly that don't have to look that far to see & experience the differences.

    I laughed & cried many times as I read. The memories poured back. I will insist that my sons read this book as to better understand where they came as well as what compelled my wife & I to do what we did. Jesus gave His all for me...I can only do likewise for our children. God's grace IS sufficient.

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