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Simple Gospel, Simply Grace: How Your Christian Life Is Really Supposed to Work

By on Aug 12, 2016 in Book Reviews, Favorites, Grace | 0 comments

Simple Gospel, Simply Grace, a recent book by Bob Christopher, outlines the basic message of Good News while stripping away the distortions of the Gospel we’ve come to believe. We let ourselves develop formulas for living the Christian life instead of living in the freedom of God’s grace.   Apart from Jesus, we make God out to look like a Picasso painting. It’s our inherent fear that paints such a distorted view. We think of him as a mean, judgmental, and angry being who can never be pleased. –Bob Christopher, Simple Gospel, Simply Grace Bob Christopher divides the book into three parts: Life, Forgiveness, and Freedom. He discusses the work of Christ on our behalf as the one-time sufficient satisfaction for our sin. The author then spends one third of the book focusing on forgiveness because we tend to misunderstand our complete forgiveness in Christ so we live in fear, guilt, or...

Radically Normal by Josh Kelley (@joshkelley)

By on Aug 3, 2016 in Book Reviews, Favorites, Perspective | 0 comments

Radically Normal was a normal book. (Hey, what did you expect?) In a culture where we are constantly urged to be “radical” Christians, author Josh Kelley provides a more balanced perspective by suggesting that it’s okay to be normal for Jesus. Rather than feeling guilty for not being radical enough, maybe we should strive to be radically normal. It’s a refreshing counterbalance to the prevailing ideas of what it means to live for Christ in the world today. Here’s a brief excerpt to give you the flavor, humor, and perspective Josh Kelley brings to the content. As I mentioned, in my grandparents’ day, all movies were considered taboo by many Christians. By the time I was born, G-rated movies were acceptable, but the idea of a Christian watching an R-rated movie was scandalous. Now many pastors routinely use R-rated movies for sermon illustrations. As much as I want to dismiss the archaic...

Unoffendable by Brant Hansen (@branthansen)

By on Jul 15, 2016 in Book Reviews, Favorites, Grace | 0 comments

People often call me a pacifist and maybe I am to some degree, but when Jesus says to turn the other cheek, love your enemies, and pray for those who hurt you, I believe He means for us to do those things. I also believe in seeing the “divine spark” in each person because whether we follow Jesus or not, we were each made in the image of God. As such, I believe we are to love and respect one another. Even with that built into my belief system, I struggled. As an author, I’ve struggled with negative comments and reviews to the point that I began to resent the very people I was writing for. So when I saw a book called Unoffendable, I thought perhaps it would help me find a new perspective. It just so happened I was reading Unoffendable at a time when race issues popped up and the related outrage that always accompanies such things. Social media was full of angry, remarks. These days, it...

Grace Intervention by Bill Giovannetti

By on Jul 6, 2016 in Book Reviews, Favorites, Grace | 0 comments

Bill Giovannetti offers another powerful affirmation of the doctrine of grace. (See also my review for his book, Grace Rehab.) Legalism sneaks into our hearts and lives so easily that we do well to saturate our hearts and minds with the doctrine of grace, keeping it front and center every day of our lives.   “Every good thing that happens in and through you happens only through Christ in you. Take away this mystical union, and Christianity cheapens into pop psychology slathered in Jesus quotes.” –Bill Giovannetti, Grace Intervention   Because legalism comes in many subtle forms, the author exposes both traditional legalism and neo-legalism. He also responds to typical objections to grace using Scripture and examples. He defines grace as “the unmerited favor of a non-lenient God” because he doesn’t want people to confuse grace with leniency. In other words, it’s not that God is...

Grace Rehab: The Power of Labeling Yourself the Way God Labels You by Bill Giovannetti

By on Jun 18, 2016 in Book Reviews, Favorites, Grace | 0 comments

Grace Rehab The Power of Labeling Yourself the Way God Labels You Bill Giovannetti 2015 214 pages   For years I have been struggling to earn God’s blessings. I have poor health and cannot work outside the home, but Christians always told me I just needed to “have more faith” or “pray more” or things like that. I interpreted that to mean I had to do more to earn God’s favor. Bill Giovannetti blew away my faulty thinking. He says, “A blessing is a gift of grace.” Based on that definition, I can’t earn God’s blessings; they are freely given. God gives blessings, not paychecks. And therefore, you don’t serve God for blessings. If you had to work for them, they couldn’t be called blessings, by definition. Do you realize what this means? This means God doesn’t bless you because you studied your Bible this week . . . because you prayed extra hard, or . . . because you gave more. –Bill...