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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: Crossway Books & Bibles
Publication Date: 2010
Availability: In Stock
God's compassion and pardon are utterly shocking in their lavish abundancethat'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 storyin 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 agothe 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.
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 Ive 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 Gods 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, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com