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The Grace of God

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    The Grace Narrative

    I have heard it said that while you can learn a lot from the stories of the people in the Bible, since it is God's Word, it is God's story we should be paying attention to in its pages. This concept never came as alive to me, however, as it did while reading Andy Stanley's book, The Grace of God. Stanley's book takes the reader into God's story of grace in His book, The Bible, highlighting the narrative of grace that runs throughout the Old and New Testament. Almost a personal, heartfelt, accessibly-written Bible commentary, Stanley describes the God of grace who from Day 1 has been doling out grace unfairly and indiscriminately to people who don't deserve it. The Grace of God paints this picture through the retelling of Biblical stories from God's perspective. Stanley starts from the very beginning of creation, highlighting the grace that has been "God's pre-eminent characteristic from the very beginning" (p. 3). He then moves through story after story in the Old and New Testament that highlight God's promises to His people and the people's inability to negate His promises through sins/acts that deserve punishment. Even more challenging, though, is Stanley's grace-filled views of the stumbling blocks some have regarding the Ten Commandments (the law) and the death and destruction so evident in the Old Testament.

    Throughout the book, Stanley highlights key insightful phrases in bold, and these were so powerful/important that I plan to write them down so I can revisit them regularly. Each chapter provides the big picture of God's grace narrative, but also brings home the challenges we face seeing, understanding, applying, and living out grace today. Ultimately, it is a call to see the true nature of God, to accept the grace we cannot earn, and to extend that grace to ALL we come in contact with.

    NOTE: I received this book for free from BOOKSneeze, but the words of the review are my own.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    The Grace of God

    Andy tackles the topic of Grace in this book. With 13 chapters he starts from the beginning of the bible. Andy takes the reader on a journey through scripture by highlighting well-known stories and points out God's grace. Stanley delivers his typically engaging content, while maintaining his approachable style. Stanley is also a master at pulling out the pearl of a passage. He by-passes a lot of good stuff. Instead, he focuses on the best. A good principle to live by. With grace, comes faith. Such a strong statement in such a uncertain world. Believe.

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    An excellent modern study on grace

    Andy Stanley's The Grace of God is an excellent modern study on this pivotal aspect of our faith. All Christians can benefit from pursuing further understanding of God's grace. Stanley's down-to-earth writing style makes this book an approachable read even for the newest Christian while maintaining value for us all due to its important subject matter.

    While I enjoyed and would recommend this book, I wasn't wowed by any new revelations, though there were a few points to ponder. And that's okay. There is a lot out there about grace. Fortunately, it is not a subject typically ignored by Christian leaders and teachers. However, due to this influx of information on grace, it's easy to downplay or ignore some of its most important applications in our lives. This book is excellent in addressing this through its organization and approach. Stanley leads readers through Biblical stories, retelling them in everyday language to help the readers to see new viewpoints in such familiar content and highlight the most vital truths about the gift of God's grace. This book would make a fine edition to any Christian's library.

    I recieved a copy of this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my impartial review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    Interesting Reading

    The concept of "grace" is something that I've always struggled to fully understand. I have heard it discussed time and again, read verses (such as Ephesians 2:8), and been through Bible study courses. But the topic is one that continues to both perplex and inspire.


    This week I read The Grace of God by Andy Stanley, and probably not for the last time. He works step-by-step through the Bible, examining time and again how God's grace is revealed to us. Most of the examples were stories that we know well (Jonah) but revisiting them provides a change to re-examine.


    I liked how the tone of the book; Stanley has a conversational style that makes it easy to read. I imagine that the book will be read by Sunday school and Bible study groups, but it also makes good reading for anyone looking to further understand God's grace.

    I received this book at no charge from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Refreshing

    The Grace of God by Andy Stanley I newly received The Grace of God by Andy Stanley in the mail. The book is very insightful and uplifting. It speaks to you about how God created the Earth just for us. God knew it would be good for us, which He done out of grace. Stanley walks us through the stories of Joseph, Moses, Jonah, all the way to the New Testament of where Jesus was on Earth. Stanley points out where grace seems to be hiding in all these books in the Bible. Stanley mentions that through God's grace, which we all need. God gives us something that we do not deserve. We all need God's grace, but not everyone will receive it, and we may feel this is unfair, but sometimes we do not want what we deserve. Stanley states, "Grace is the vehicle God uses on occasion to ensure that we get precisely what we don't deserve." I would recommend this book to Bible Study groups. We could all learn about God's grace and it would be a great discussion topic. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted November 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful Truth

    Andy Stanley's newest book, The Grace of God, is beautiful. But how could it be anything else?

    Sometimes when I read a book I'm impressed with the author. Other times I'm just bowled over by new, exciting ideas. Not with this book-There isn't much new or extraordinarily artistic or creative here. Instead, I crawled up inside truths I've known since childhood, and found peace in the warm, life-giving grace of God.

    The Grace of God traces grace through Bible stories from Old Testament to New. It's not original-no unique, mind-blowing insights to speak of. It's almost too familiar, in fact. I found myself putting the book down time and time again, feeling like I already knew this stuff. But finally I committed to reading. I decided to open my heart to old truths. And I'm so glad I did.

    Coming from a church heritage suspicious of grace, I couldn't help but interject as I read. I wondered aloud, "Yeah, but what do you mean by that?" and "But what about.?" I was exhausted with myself only three or four chapters in and frustrated that I couldn't just embrace grace, that every discussion of grace had to be a discussion of grace and works.

    Stanley evidently felt the tension, too. In his last chapter he admits that he struggles to let grace stand on its own. But he said adding a chapter on obedience seemed strange. Because the book is about grace.

    I loved his assertion, "Jesus didn't try to balance grace and truth. He gave a full dose of both."

    Yes.

    That's what I'd like to do. When I talk about grace I want to talk about grace and not feel like I need to qualify it to death. And then, when I talk about obedience, I want to talk about obedience and not feel compelled to qualify that.

    Jesus often sits two seemingly contradictory truths-each one absolutely and fully right-on a table side-by-side without making any attempt to resolve the tension between them. But we human beings hate tension and so we water down grace and we water down obedience and totally dilute both.

    Grace is too big to be couched in obedience. And obedience is too important to be chained to grace.

    I think.

    P.S. Stanley's chapter on Nicodemus is crazy-cool. Stanley suggests that Nicodemus may be have been the only person at the cross who fully understood what was going on, the whole cosmic scale of it. :)

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  • Posted October 22, 2010

    Great reminders and examples of God's Grace

    I'm a pretty big fan of Andy Stanley, so I jumped on getting his book from Booksneeze even though it's not a children's book. Kevin and I completed a Bible study by Andy called Starting Point while living in Orlando, and I've listened to quite a few of his sermons online from Northpoint church. That being said, I expected this book to sound like Andy's preaching, and it does. It's easy to follow, easy to understand, and I can even hear his inflections and such in it.
    This book is obviously about God's grace. The great part about it though is that Andy takes us through the Bible, showing us what seemed to be graceless situations. Then God showed up in a big way and poured out grace, sometimes unbeknownst to the reader. For instance, he talks about how God giving us light was grace. He didn't have to give us light, but as Genesis 1:4 says, "God saw the light and that it was good." The Grace of God is a great reminder that God gives us so much but His grace alone is enough.

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

    The Story of Grace

    Never before reading this book have I thought of the story that has taken place from the beginning of Genesis to the unwritten ending as a story of Grace. But in many aspects, that is just what it is. God has shown grace through every event I can think of. Unending, loving, compassionate grace. It's always there.
    The story of grace is clean and plainly spoken in this book. The author does not spare details to better communicate understanding of culture and to get across the ideas of the book. That being said, it was not an easy read. This is not a light book. It is often dry and dull and I found myself forcing my way through it. However, it was very interesting and engaging a good amount of the time. The book is an excellent book for newborn and experienced Christians alike. Highly recommended.

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    God's grace

    In the book The Grace of God, Andy Stanley describes the true meaning of grace and how it cannot be earned, bought or even be deserved, but it is a gift given freely because of God's love for us. Andy shows us that grace didn't begin with our Savior dying on the cross for our sins, but the grace of God was in the beginning and is part of who God is. We make grace out to be so complicated, and end up showing no grace at all, but a graceless religion is the one thing Jesus despises. The book describes how we often see law and discipline as something to keep so that we can earn grace, but in actuality it's often an expression of grace.

    This book inspired me to stop and think about how I accept grace with little to no hesitation, but when it comes to giving grace I struggle and fail regularly. Andy chronologically points directly to biblical passages where grace is extended and to the most unlikely of characters. You don't have to be good to be given grace. If that was the case, then no one would receive it. Andy's writing is always so refreshing and inspiring, and this book is no exception. It's packed full of scripture evidence and quotes that show us just how awesome God's grace is.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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    Posted September 15, 2011

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    Posted May 30, 2011

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    Posted April 5, 2011

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