Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grace




I was excited to get to review Max Lucado’s new book Grace because he is a person that I have always admired from a writing standpoint. I have most of his books, literally dozens of them, and I credit him as one of the influences in my life toward Christian writing.

The topic of his book Grace is obvious; it’s right there in the title. But here is a more specific glimpse of the topic from the author himself: “Here’s my hunch: we’ve settled for wimpy grace. It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign. Never causes trouble or demands a response. When asked, ‘Do you believe in grace?’ who could say no? This book asks a deeper question: Have you been changed by grace?”

Max uses the biblical narratives of Ruth and Naomi, the woman caught in adultery, Barabbas, David and Bathsheba, the foot washing in the Upper Room, and others to illustrate grace in the Bible.

In addition to biblical characters, Lucado uses his gift as a storyteller in his usual way, bringing stories to life through the written word and driving home his point. His humor comes through well in his writing, especially in the conclusion.

There is a certain rhythm to his writing, a beat to his book (see what I did there?) that let’s his fans know “this is Max Lucado.” It’s when he makes the same point from different perspectives, illustrating his idea with alliterated anecdotes in symmetrical symbolism.

Here are some examples of his creative descriptions:
“If grace were a wheat field [God’s] bequeathed you the state of Kansas (p.59).”
“My grace reservoir is running dry (p.99).”
“Grace. Let it, let him, so seep into the crusty cracks of your life that everything softens. Then let it, let him, bubble to the surface, like a spring in the Sahara, in words of kindness and deeds of generosity (p.151).”

I had two minor concerns with this book. First, the author repeatedly used The Message as a Bible translation, which I personally do not like (and have written about). Second, in chapter 7 he talks about drinking and states that he believes in moderation drinking, which is also something that I personally disagree with.

I still enjoyed this book and think that it is a good read for Christian edification and education in the gospel. 

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