Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook  -     By: Tullian Tchividjian
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Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook

Crossway Books & Bibles / 2010 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: Crossway Books & Bibles
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 9781433523618
ISBN-13: 9781433523618
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

God's compassion and pardon are utterly shocking in their lavish abundance—that's a lesson God himself pounded into the epic life-story of one man who kept resisting in whatever way he could. Surprised by Grace retells that man's true story—in a gripping presentation that will open readers' eyes wider than ever to God's relentless, purposeful, and inexhaustible grace.

The man's name isn't new to anyone. It's Jonah, the famous Old Testament prophet. This fresh unfolding of his story seeks to recapture the staggering effect it had on those who first encountered it so many centuries ago—the same shock effect that's desperately needed today among those who think they know God's heart far better than they really do.

In a powerful journey through unforgettable events and imagery, Surprised by Grace reveals how relentlessly God pursues rebels (a category that ultimately includes everyone), though he has every right and plenty of reasons to give up on us all.

Different people turn to different Scriptures in times of spiritual and emotional distress. Some turn to the Psalms. Others turn to stories of deliverance and healing in the Gospels and the book of Acts. Very few people turn to the book of Jonah when they are enduring the most difficult season of their life. In the book Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels, Tullian Tchividjian shows his readers how the Book of Jonah brought him comfort and renewed his soul. In the process he demonstrates how God not only offers us the opportunity to be saved by grace, but God calls us to live by his grace on a daily basis.

The layout of the book is relatively simple. This is because the structure of Surprised by Grace generally follows the outline of the short, simple prophetic book of Jonah. Jonah really reads like a drama, with each chapter revealing a new scene. Then, after the author digs into the content of Jonah, Tchividjian spends the final couple of chapters putting the story of Jonah in the broader context of Scripture and of our twenty-first century lives.

I loved this book. It was an enjoyable read for a number of reasons. First, the author does a beautiful job of bringing in a broad range of resources that inform about the story of Jonah. He quotes liberally from the commentaries of John Calvin, the sermons of Charles Spurgeon, the poetry of Robert Frost, and the writing of Herman Melville. Tchividjian also does a great job of informing the reader about artwork created around the story of Jonah. In the process, the author explains how that artwork teaches even more about what God is doing in the life of Jonah. The careful research and its skillful incorporation into this book make Surprised by Grace not just informative, but also beautiful.

The whole purpose of the book is found in the title -- Surprised by Grace. The author shows throughout that God is constantly reaching out with his love and his grace. By the end of his study Tchividjian says “I’ve come to see that I still need to experience the ongoing, liberating power of the gospel in a new way every day” (p. 156).

God uses Jonah to reach the people of Nineveh because he loves everyone. The Lord uses Jonah instead of anyone else because Jonah needs to be transformed by the mission God has set before him. He gives us the book of Jonah in Scripture so that we will know that nobody is outside of God’s plan, and that he wants engage us in a life of transformation through offering us His acceptance and affection for our whole lives. – Clint Walker,

Publisher's Weekly

A man stuck inside the belly of a fish may sound improbable, even ridiculous. But in this retelling of the biblical story of Jonah, pastor-author Tchividjian (Do I Know God?) means serious business. Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, creates a play-by-play version of this ancient tale to put today's audience at the scene. Drawn from a sermon series, the book employs typical sermon fodder—Scripture, descriptions of artistic representations of Jonah, and extended quotes from authors like Herman Melville (Moby-Dick) who have written on the subject. Through these interpretations, the reader discovers Jonah's characteristics—he is self-righteous, prideful, a work in progress—contrasted with the attributes of God, who is unwavering, all-powerful, and merciful. One can almost hear the author's voice rising and falling as he compares Jonah's reticence to contemporary human attitudes. The abrupt ending of the biblical tale may leave the impression that this well-loved character is no hero at all. Yet Tchividjian's animated, heartfelt homily will boost readers with the message that God's heroic grace is perfect. (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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