Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Review: From Good to Grace

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of being a part of the launch team for Christine Hoover's book The Church Planting Wife. When I heard she was coming out with a second book and was looking to create another launch team, I knew I wanted to take part! Christine graciously picked me again, and I received an advanced copy of the book to review and promote. I may or may not have done a happy dance when it arrived in the mail! :)

Just like with her first book, I would promote this one even if I wasn't a part of the official launch team. Christine has such a gift for writing, and particularly connecting with and ministering to women. I so appreciate her willingness to share her heart in such a vulnerable way, both on her blog and in this book.

From Good to Grace is saturated with truth, and the gospel fills every page. Christine cuts to the heart of the goodness gospel, a false gospel that too many of us believe and live by, sometimes without even realizing it. Too many of us believe that we are not doing enough, that we are not enough, and that we can live life in our own strength. Not only does that become exhausting, it is also an enslaving idea, devoid of God's abundant grace.

Christine shares from her own personal struggles and offers words of hope for the freedom she has found in discovering and pursuing God's grace. She uncovers the lies of a goodness {or works-based} gospel, cutting to the heart of false idols, people-pleasing, the desire for "control," and even things like the "mommy wars." For me personally, I have seen the goodness gospel creep in with the idea that if I am good enough, then God will bless me. While I know this is false, I haven't always recognized it right away as believing a false gospel.

If you have ever struggled with wanting to be "good" and {falsely} believing that being good is what being a Christian is about, or if you just have a hard time just receiving God's love and grace {and maybe extending it to others}, then this book is for you.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"The more we know what God wants for us, the less it matters what others want from us."
"Joyful service is solely motivated by love- not our love toward God, as if we're showing him what we can do, but his love for us. It's based on a cyclical pattern of returning to Jesus, receiving from him, and then responding to him by loving others."
"God's goal for the church is our unity, not our uniformity."
"Grace and the freedom it offers us should always benefit others; it is not for our benefit and our freedom alone...we must live in responsible freedom, not taking advantage of God's grace by living for ourselves, not mocking grace through blatant sin and taking opportunities for our flesh, and not taking lightly the impact we have on others around us. It also means that we don't hold up our personal convictions as the only right way."

I also loved that there is a discussion guide at the back of the book. It would be useful for small group discussion, and even just personal reflection. Be sure to pick up a copy! {AmazonBarnes & NobleChristianbook.com, or iTunes}

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