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If Grace Is So Amazing, Why Don't We Like It?

ISBN: 978-0-470-49160-7
256 pages
January 2009, Jossey-Bass
If Grace Is So Amazing, Why Don

Description

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound . . . or is it? Grace set to music is one thing, but what about grace itself? What about grace as an idea, an act, a force? Grace upsets the natural balance, turning the law of cause and effect on its head. Our instinctive reaction is to pull back from grace. Rather than recognizing our unworthiness to receive this completely undeserved gift from God, we want to believe that, on balance, something in our lives merits the good that comes our way, that we deserve whatever gifts we receive. And if we find it difficult to accept grace for ourselves, how much more unwilling are we to have it handed to others? When someone gets off the hook too easily, aren't we uncomfortable? A miscarriage of justice, we think. That's not fair! But real Christian faith requires that we accept and embrace this radical thing called grace. It’s not about being fair: God’s grace will turn your world upside down¾ if you let it.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

PART 1: Upside Down 1

1 How Sweet the Sound? 3

2 Hanging on a Hair 12

PART 2: Upside-Down God 21

3 Surprising, Not Predictable 23

4 For Us, Not Against Us 29

5 Near, Not Distant 39

6 Revealed in Weakness, Not in Strength 49

7 Rule Breaker, Not Rule Maker 59

8 Passionate, Not Unmoved 68

9 Therefore Risk Trust 76

PART 3: Upside-Down Self 89

10 Set Free, Not Condemned 91

11 Life, Not Death 101

12 Death, Not Life 110

13 Truth, Not Evasion 117

14 Delight, Not Manipulation 124

15 Giving, Not Getting 133

16 Therefore Be Human 141

PART 4: Upside-Down World 149

17 Love, Not Self-Centeredness 151

18 Affirmation, Not Condemnation 160

19 Forgiving, Not Keeping Score 171

20 Serving, Not Using 181

21 Creating Community, Not Competing 189

22 Peace, Not Violence 197

23 Stewardship, Not Ownership 206

24 Hope, Not Despair 215

25 Therefore Bear Witness 228

Notes 235

The Author 245

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Author Information

Donald McCullough is president of Salt Lake Theological Seminary and a former president and professor of theology and preaching at San Francisco Theological Seminary. The author of seven books, his writing has appeared in Christianity Today, Christian Century, and many other magazines and journals.
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