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Whats so Amazing about Grace?

Whats so Amazing about Grace?

4.5 41
by Philip Yancey, David Arp, Claudia Arp

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Small group Bible study will never be the same! With ZondervanGroupware Small Group Editions, leaders have interactive DVDs that feature bestselling authors Philip Yancey and John Ortberg to teach a small group Bible study in their own homes. The DVD and 32-page leader’s guide provides ease of facilitation for the small group leader. The participant’s


Small group Bible study will never be the same! With ZondervanGroupware Small Group Editions, leaders have interactive DVDs that feature bestselling authors Philip Yancey and John Ortberg to teach a small group Bible study in their own homes. The DVD and 32-page leader’s guide provides ease of facilitation for the small group leader. The participant’s guide, available separately, provides a book for small group members to follow along with the teaching and record responses to questions. What’s So Amazing About Grace?—Over 1 million books sold In this ten-session small group DVD, award-winning author Philip Yancey offers intimate glimpses of God’s life-changing grace. Using candid interviews with real people, he illustrates the power of God to forgive the most horrible deeds, love the unloving, and redeem the seemingly irredeemable.

Product Details

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ZondervanGroupware Small Group EditionSeries Series
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Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

What's So Amazing about Grace?

A Ten Session Investigation of Grace
By Philip Yancey

Zondervan Publishing Company

Copyright © 2005 Philip Yancey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780310261797

Chapter One

I MUST ADMIT, it took me a while to warm up to the idea of someone messing with my book! As I thought about it, though, I realized that people encounter grace in ways other than words. As I have written, I experienced grace first through nature, music, and romantic love, and only later found words to interpret and express what I had felt. Why not let some very skilled designers select passages from my book and interpret them visually? (Okay, I secretly hope that if you like this book you'll look up the full-text version of What's So Amazing About Grace? It may seem boring in contrast to this edition, but it may also fill in some gaps.)

Almost a million copies of my book have been sold, which says something about our thirst for grace. I have received thousands of letters from readers, some grateful, some desperate, some furious. One of my favorites thanks me profusely for my book What's So Annoying About Grace? I'm sure, from the tone of the letter, that the reader meant to write "Amazing" and typed "Annoying" by mistake. Many other letters, however, come from readers who truly do find grace annoying.

Must we forgive everyone? Shouldn't people have to payfor their mistakes? Would God forgive Saddam Hussein or Hitler? What about justice and fairness? How can you keep people from taking advantage of grace? These are some of the questions readers have tossed back at me. I imagine some readers will find this visual edition even more annoying because it presents the scandal of grace more directly, more "in your face."

I cannot claim that grace is fair. By definition, it's unfair: We get the opposite of what we deserve. I wrote my book to make a simple point, the same point a slave trader named John Newton made several centuries ago. Grace is amazing-the most amazing, perplexing, powerful force in the universe, I believe, and the only hope for our twisted, violent planet. If you catch a mere whiff of its scent, it could change your life forever.

"JESUS GAINED the POWER to love harlots, bullies, and ruffians ... he was able to do this only because he saw through the filth and crust of degeneration, because his eye caught the divine original which is hidden in every way-in every man! ... First and foremost he gives us new eyes.

WHEN JESUS LOVED a guilt-laden person and helped him, he saw in him an erring child of God. He saw in him a human being whom his Father loved and grieved over because he was going wrong. He saw him as God originally designed and meant him to be, and therefore he saw through the surface layer of grime and dirt to the real man underneath.

"JESUS DID NOT identify the person with his sin, but rather saw in this sin something alien, something that really did not belong to him, something that merely chained and mastered him and from which he would free him and bring him back to his real self. Jesus was able to love men because he loved them right through the layer of mud." -HELMUT THIELICKE

"TO LOVE A PERSON means to see him as God intended him to be."-FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY

A U.S. DELEGATE to the Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin in 1934 sent back this report of what he found under Hitler's regime: "It was a great relief to be in a country where salacious sex literature cannot be sold; where putrid motion pictures and gangster films cannot be shown. The new Germany has burned great masses of corrupting books and magazines along with its bonfires of Jewish and communistic libraries." The same delegate defended Hitler as a leader who did not smoke or drink, who wanted women to dress modestly, and who opposed pornography.

It is all too easy to point fingers at German Christians of the 1930s, southern fundamentalists in the 1960s, or South African Calvinists of the 1970s. What sobers me is that contemporary Christians may someday be judged as harshly. What trivialities do we obsess over, and what weighty matters of the law-justice, mercy, faithfulness-might we be missing? DOES GOD CARE MORE about nose rings or about urban decay? Grunge music or world hunger? Worship styles or a culture of violence?

Author Tony Campolo, who makes a regular circuit as a chapel speaker on Christian college campuses, for a time used this provocation to make a point. "The United Nations reports that over ten thousand people starve to death each day, and most of you don't give a shit. However, what is even more tragic is that most of you are more concerned about the fact that I just said a bad word than you are about the fact that ten thousand people are going to die today." The responses proved his point: in nearly every case Tony got a letter from the chaplain or president of the college protesting his foul language. The letters never mentioned world hunger.

Not long ago I received in the mail a postcard from a friend that had on it only six words, "I am the one Jesus loves." I smiled when I saw the return address, for my strange friend excels at these pious slogans. When I called him, though, he told me the slogan came from the author and speaker Brennan Manning. At a seminar, Manning referred to Jesus' closest friend on earth, the disciple named John, identified in the Gospels as "the one Jesus loved." Manning said, "If John were to be asked, 'What is your primary identity in life?' he would not reply, 'I am a disciple, an apostle, an evangelist, an author of one of the four Gospels,' but rather, 'I am the one Jesus loves.'"

What would it mean, I ask myself, if I too came to the place where I saw my primary identity in life as "the one Jesus loves"? How differently would I view myself at the end of the day?

Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you become what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible's astounding words about God's love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees?

Brennan Manning tells the story of an Irish priest who, on a walking tour of a rural parish, sees an old peasant kneeling by the side of the road, praying. Impressed, the priest says to the man, "You must be very close to God." The peasant looks up from his prayers, thinks a moment, and then smiles, "Yes, he's very fond of me." The one Jesus loves.

IN CHURCH THE OTHER SUNDAY I was intent on a small child who was turning around smiling at everyone. He wasn't gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother's handbag. He was just smiling. Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theatre off Broadway said, "Stop that grinning! You're in church!" With that, she gave him a belt and as the tears rolled down his cheeks added, "That's better," and returned to her prayers....

Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if you're not, then you'd better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear-stained face close to me and tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us ... By tradition, one wears faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the gravity of a mask of tragedy, and the dedication of a Rotary badge.

What a fool, I thought. Here was a woman sitting next to the only light left in our civilization-the only hope, our only miracle-our only promise of infinity. If he couldn't smile in church, where was there left to go? -Erma Bombeck

J3:16 & 17

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to be its Judge, but to be its Savior.


Excerpted from What's So Amazing about Grace? by Philip Yancey Copyright © 2005 by Philip Yancey. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Philip Yancey serves as editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine. He has written thirteen Gold Medallion Award-winning books and won two ECPA Book of the Year awards for What's So Amazing About Grace? and The Jesus I Never Knew. Four of his books have sold over one million copies. Yancey lives with his wife in Colorado. Website: www.philipyancey.com

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What's So Amazing about Grace 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
hosswj More than 1 year ago
Challenges the Christian Community to exercise Grace rather than judgment. Leave the task of judging to Jesus and just love like God loves. Accountability is left to the Godhead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book more times than other other book besides the Bible. Phillip Yancey has created a classic book about grace that I believe every person would greatly benefit from reading. There are many, many true life examples that have encouraged me, given me insight, expanded my understanding and taught me compassion for others. I highly recommend this gem. Buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. It has changed my life. It has helped me to become a better person and a more loving, graceful Christian. I am so excited to be in a book study of this book this Summer. It is a life changer that everyone should read and then maybe more people would be changed by Love rather than judgment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a young man I am at a point in my life where I find myself struggling to find the answers to some of life's biggest questions. This book was helpful to me by showing me how powerful a gift grace really is. The grace of God is a powerful thing. Mr. Yancey shows his readers how grace relates to every aspect of our lives and is not restricted to a faith community, but open to all God's creation. Grace, as well as this book, is something that all Christians should share.
bkluver More than 1 year ago
I've always been a fan of Philip Yancey. This is one of my favorite books. Philip Yancey has a way of making you feel like you know him. He shares his thoughts and encourages you. Grace is something that we all need a lot more of. Thanks, Philip Yancey!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Author Philip Yancey offers a refreshing viewpoint of grace in his spiritually challenging book What¿s So Amazing About Grace? He effectively uses the scriptures as a lens to focus on the life we lead today. His illustrations help the reader to turn that lens on himself or herself ¿ not in a critical way, but in a soul-opening way. He has chosen some of the most startling and effective illustrations I have ever encountered. This book, already being used in our Christian colleges, needs to be required reading for anyone who takes his or her Christian life seriously.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book literaly changed my life. It allowed me to grow in God because I learned what his grace really meant. I have bought copies of this book for family members and friends and it has changed their life as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book that I have ever read. I could not put it down. This book is life changing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this book from the library and its taking me forever to get thru it even though I normally inhale a good book! After each passage I have to get a kleenex and then do some deep thinking and praying. Give it as a gift - both to yourself and to a loved one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Philip Yancey is one of my favorite authors. As a pastor, I recommend this book to my peers. Our culture is sick and tired of right-wing, fundamental, and legalistic rhetoric from Christian leaders and churches. This book is a breath of fresh air for us to return to Jesus' ministry of grace, a ministry of love and forgiveness.
new3 More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have ever read on the subject of grace. Yancey is a modern day C.S. Lewis. I could not more highly recommend this book for any pilgrim or Christian trying to understand what grace truly is. I give this book away as gifts to family and friends. Definitely on my top 10 Christian books of all time.
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Amazing. I hope every right winger reads this book. Grace is amazing- I wish more Christens understood that.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
It is great for those who want to grasp the concept about what is grace and what is required to access it. He could address repentence a little bit more, its given very minimal focus.
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