5 Stars Out Of 5
Refreshing, Beautiful Reminder of God's Grace
May 30, 2014
In his book Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us, author and Bible professor Preston Sprinkle calls readers to see the Old Testament in a new light, tracing God's grace throughout the Old Testament story. It's a refreshing and sometimes eye-opening look at what God's grace really is. If you're looking to recapture the beauty and mystery of God's scandalous grace, don't miss out on Charis.
Rather than reading morally (looking for examples to live by), Sprinkle encourages readers to read the Old Testament theologically, asking, "What do I learn about God and His character?" He shows readers how to put God at the center of their Bible reading instead of humans.
Charis looks at characters like Adam and Eve, Abraham, Judah, Tamar, Moses, Rahab, Samson, Ruth, David, Hosea, and even a few New Testament characters like Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. By looking at all the broken, sinful, and messed up characters in the biblical narrative, Sprinkle helps readers see that "Divine grace is God's relentless and loving pursuit of His enemies, who are unthankful, unworthy, and unlovable."
Sprinkle goes on to tell readers, "You can't make God love you. God loves you because of who He is and because of what Christ has done. His love is not based on what you do, or what you don't do."
While he helps readers grasp how truly scandalous God's grace is, Sprinkle also warns against taking it for granted or treating it too lightly, saying, "If we never hug a harlot, befriend a beggar, or forgive our enemy seventy time seven, then we confess grace with our lips but mock it with our lives."
With such a huge focus on grace, some might be concerned that Sprinkle presents an unbalanced view of grace. This is not true, though. In the epilogue, Sprinkle illustrates that obedience is not grace's enemy and shows readers how obedience is a actually a by-product of grace.
The cover alone draws readers in with "Charis" tattooed on two hands. If that's not enough to spark readers' interest, check out some of the chapter titles:
This is a must-read for anyone new to the Christian faith or anyone who wants to recapture the joy of their salvation. Basking in God's scandalous grace will inspire, refresh and moisten the most shriveled soul.
About the Author
Preston Sprinkle is the vice president of Eternity Bible College's extension site in Boise, Idaho. He coauthored the New York Times bestseller Erasing Hell with Frances Chan and is the author of the recently published book Fight: A Christian Case for Nonviolence. He resides in Idaho with his wife and four children.
* I received a copy of the book from NetGalley for this honest review.