Many of us have heard the phrase "Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve." When mercy is referred to in such terms, how much more is grace the receiving of what we desperately have not earned. In Sin Boldly, award-winning author and columnist Cathleen Falsani notes that "Grace makes no sense to our human minds. We're hardwired to seek justice, or our limited idea of what that means, and occasionally dole out mercy. Grace is another story." Journey with Falsani as she explores in story and song the meaning and experience of grace. The result is an thought-provoking and uplifting take on what makes grace so amazing.
Grace is everywhere, all around us, all of the time. We only need the ears to hear it and the eyes to see it. It is much easier and perhaps more helpful to describe what grace feels like through stories and images that illustrate the varied ways grace is experienced when encountered in the wild, than it is to attempt to define it definitively, to trap it, and cage it. Maybe thats why Jesus was so fond of parables: nothing describes the indescribable like a memorable yarn. Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace is a collection of stories about the author's experiences with gracein ridiculous moments and in those that seem trivial but are anything but; in wacky adventures and quiet walks; with family and with strangers; in bars, nightclubs, the occasional house of worship, and in her own home; and through conversations with peoplesome famous and some notwho have introduced her to grace in new ways that in turn have shaped her faith and the way she tries to live it.
Cathleen Falsani, author of Sin Boldly, The Dude Abides, and The God Factor, is the award-winning religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. She attended Wheaton College and also holds masters degrees in journalism and theology. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, with her husband and fellow journalist, Maurice Possley.
Ranging from Chicago to Kenya, New Orleans to Maine, Big Sky to Graceland, Falsani dons her investigative cap and scouts for grace. This religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times is a charming guide to places and people who reveal "grace when and where it happens." Eschewing technical theological definitions, Falsani opts instead to tell how she has experienced grace. And we are vicarious travelers, seeing grace"audacious, unwarranted, and unlimited"through Falsani's eyes. She marvels at the devotion of young people who crowd to the pope's funeral and at the astoundingly independent women of Asembo Bay in Kenya. She wrestles with anger at a misogynist Tanzanian tour guide and anger at God when her mother and beloved cat face cancer. We traipse along with the author and eavesdrop on her conversations, both external and internal. The result is a pastiche of images meant collectively to reveal God's grace. Though some may find the premise contrived, only a fierce cynic could fail to be drawn into Falsani's tales and candid reflections. (Sept.)
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