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

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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...

Unoffendable by Brant Hansen (@branthansen)

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

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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...

Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous

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Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything by Anonymous My rating: 5 of 5 stars Embracing Obscurity, by an anonymous author, tackles the dilemmas and dangers of our self-obsession. According to the author, “Embracing obscurity is not about wiping ourselves from existence but rather, voluntarily, becoming nothing in light of everything God is and has promised us. . . . It’s about making Him, not ourselves, look good.” The author is genuine and transparent in his struggle with this topic. When it first occurred to him, he thought, “Wait . . . embrace obscurity? Who in their right mind would want to do that? And what would that do to my life?” He details his own struggle with social media and the desire to have lots of friends and followers as a measure of worth and the desire to be affirmed for the witty things he posted. Service and obscurity go hand in hand,...

Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear

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Gospel Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary J.D. Greear 2013 288 pages   One day I was brushing my teeth and had one of those thoughts so clear it had to come from God: There is no such thing as failure because it is covered by grace. This made me start seeking out books on grace so I could saturate my mind with the message of grace. I began reading Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary and found some truly thought-provoking ideas that will continue to have a profound impact on me spiritually. The author, J.D. Greear, begins by explaining the general misconceptions we have of the gospel: “For many evangelicals the gospel has functioned solely as the entry rite into Christianity; it is the prayer we pray to begin our relationship with Jesus; the diving board off of which we jump into the pool of Christianity. After we get into the pool,...