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The Grace and Truth Paradox: Responding with Christlike Balance
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The Grace and Truth Paradox: Responding with Christlike Balance

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  442 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Christians trying to model their lives after Jesus may find that He gets buried under lists, rules, and formulas. Now bestselling author Randy Alcorn offers a simple two-point checklist for Christlikeness based on John 1:14. The test consists of balancing grace and truth, equally and unapologetically. Grace without truth deceives people, and ceases to be grace. Truth ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published January 9th 2003 by Multnomah (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jul 03, 2009 LadyCalico rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite books. God didn't make it hard for us--religion makes it hard for us. So often Pastors of various denominations argue opposing bits of minutia to the point that the Scripture is distorted and disfigured and I am left confused and wondering if they read the same Bible I did. Now I just weigh to what degree each opinion is out of Grace/Truth balance. This short clearly-written book puts the badly-abused Word of the Lord back into His sensible perspective. Yeah, ...more
Matt Hartzell
Jun 09, 2009 Matt Hartzell rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Matt by: Anne Owen
Shelves: theology
This was a short book little book. I think it serves as a helpful reminder for how to approach people. I don't have much to say about it, as it was very short, and probably could have been even shorter and still communicated the main gist well.
Jaime Kes
Jun 09, 2009 Jaime Kes rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended for anyone who struggles with being too harsh with the truth or can't ever speak the truth. This book is all about Christ-like balance. I loved it and learned a ton!
Jonathan Roberts
Nov 23, 2016 Jonathan Roberts rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2016, 2016-goal-books
My review will not do this little book justice, but I will try! This is a phenomenal book! Taking on the problems of grace and truth in the Christian worldview. Just like many Christians I struggle with how to be totally about truth but at the same time be totally about grace as well. Seems like most of us major in one or the other but this book discusses how to balance it and it does it very well. I cannot recommend this book high enough. It is not super deep, in that it could have been over ...more
Bob Hayton
Randy Alcorn's book, The Grace and Truth Paradox is an excellent book. It is based on John's statement in John 1:14 that Jesus was "full of grace and truth". Some churches (and Christians) today emphasize grace over truth while others do just the opposite. Christ did neither. He was full of grace and truth.

The book is small (92 pages). Yet it has a big message. Maybe that's why it's part of Multnomah's "Small Books, Big Change" series!While it is very easy to read, some of its principles are pot
Jan 05, 2011 Jon added it
Every encounter with Christ was all grace. Every encounter with Christ was all truth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” –John 1:14. We must be in every situation–100% Grace. 100% Truth. ”Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and crushing legalism. Grace without truth breeds deception and moral ...more
Greg Dill
Sep 19, 2015 Greg Dill rated it liked it
Decent and short book reviewing the differences between Grace-driven Christians and Truth-driven Christians. Some are extreme on one end or the other. Both can be damaging to the Body of Christ and to those outside of the church. I personally tend to lean more towards grace, but understand the importance of keeping foundational truths at the core of my beliefs.

"Truth without grace crushes people and ceases to be truth. Grace without truth deceives people and ceases to be grace. Truth without gra
George Craig
Jun 19, 2016 George Craig rated it it was amazing
I have read this book multiple times over the years and it is required reading for my young adult children. Everyone who has read it have loved it.

The author makes a great point about the need to balance grace and truth in or lives. Both are important and without one, the other will lead to error in our lives.

The book is short and so easy to read. It could be read in one sitting although thoughtful consideration of the implications of the book will likely take longer than the actual reading.

Mar 25, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
I don't think I can grasp everything in this book with one read. Its an easy read, but for deeper understanding a second read through will be required. There were a few statements that were impactful to me: "Grace never ignores or violates truth. Grace gave what truth demanded: the ultimate sacrifice for our sins." and "The ancient, historical Jesus came full of grace & truth. The modern, mythological Jesus comes full of tolerance & relativism. Even in the church truth is sometimes ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Victoria rated it really liked it
This was a very good book, especially for how short it is. I think most Christians lean a little off center of grace/truth one way or the other. This book was a good reminder that as Christians we need to work at getting centered, we need to pray for help to do it. It was a memorable book with a few real gems in it. I will listen to it again with pen and paper in hand next time. For non-Christians it would help explain to them why Christians are big on Truth and why it matters. Really liked this ...more
Feb 20, 2016 Meredith rated it really liked it
This is a really quick and easy read, like much of Randy's small books. I read this book as research for a bible study I am writing on balancing grace and the fear of God as we relate daily to God. While this addressed the topic in a similar way, I found myself wishing for a lot more application and asking myself so what? Now what do I do? There was very little application in my opinion and I wish it had addressed more of our individual relationships with God instead of an approach to ministry. ...more
May 17, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I loved this tiny little book which I picked up when listening to George Weber. he gives book like that all around the world. that one is a great encouragement to have both have and truth when being day to day living. I loved all his illustrations. I loved the illustration of Eric Liddell: I didn't know he ended dying in Japan concentration camp while a missionary in China. I want to be more truthful and graceful
Nancy Bandusky
Aug 19, 2015 Nancy Bandusky rated it liked it
In the past Christians have been too centered on truth and many now are finding the churches too full of grace. This book shows the necessity of balancing grace AND truth - for we must have both to be like Christ.

While this is a short book full of examples, it does deliver important insights that Christians should take to heart. With that being said, I did feel - maybe because of its limited length - there was a bit of a redundancy on points.
Adam Shields
Aug 02, 2011 Adam Shields rated it liked it
Short review: He gets the grace right, but then has such a amorphous (and undefined) view of what truth is that it is quite unhelpful. Overall, the idea is communicated, but I would not really recommend it. Mostly focused on evangelism, but I would like a lot more about grace and truth within the church as well.

My full review is at
Feb 20, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very helpful and while I walked away from it more aware of my own tendencies, there are some wording issues that weren't helpful to me. I think he spoke of truth & grace being "balanced". This seems inaccurate to me. I would described the two as intertwined---grace informs truth, truth informs grace--so that truth isn't really truth unless it includes elements of grace & vice versa.
Jan 04, 2014 Rene rated it it was amazing
A friend loaned me this book to read, and I now plan to purchase a copy for my own library so I can re-read, underline, and make notes in the margins. Excellent, clearly written message backed thoroughly with scripture. If you do not fully understand why grace & truth MUST go hand in hand, NEVER one without the other, then you must read this book! Thank you, Mr. Alcorn.
Mar 12, 2013 Christi rated it it was amazing
Absolutely phenomenal. This book helps us recovering religious folk find our way out of that web with the plain truth of what Jesus came to do and live in the balance of what seemingly opposites (grace and truth). I don't normally underline but this book had my pen going. It left me encouraged, challenged, righted and changed. I am very glad I read it.
Jan 15, 2013 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Randy Alcorn explains, that both grace and truth are vital for the Christian faith. Truth without grace is legalism. Grace without truth will lead people to believe that sinning is no big deal. This book was full of reminders that Jesus was the perfect blend of grace and truth. As followers of Christ we should try to also act as Jesus did offering grace and truth to those around us.

Aaron Loy
Dec 19, 2014 Aaron Loy rated it really liked it
Randy Alcorn uses Scripture and many real-life anecdotes to explain why it is necessary to understand that God is equal parts Grace and Truth. And not just 50/50, but 100% Grace AND 100% Truth. With this knowledge, we better understand God's character and Gospel that we might share them both with others.
Such a great book I stumbled upon years ago, not knowing anything else by the author. What a great surprise. Both the subject and message are so relevant, and so so so good. Please read this book.
Mar 21, 2012 Doug added it
Really enjoying for many reasons, nearly finished, short read,..more later!
Seeking application and connection between God/Faith and Workplace Leadership dynamics/this has much to add to my learning@!
Jan 03, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to know why truth and grace cannot function on their own.
amazing book! alcorn tells us in his book that withholding Christ's truth from someone is really withholding Christ's grace. and withholding grace from someone discourages that person from discovering the truth. a definite must read!
Shawn Thornton
Simple, short, easy to read. But, deep, practical, Christ-centered content. THIS IS THE BOOK I HAD PLANNED TO RIGHT! Alcorn beat me to it. He also did a better job than I ever would have. I keep copies of this to give ministry leaders when they stop by my office.
Aug 24, 2012 Al rated it it was amazing
Amazing book weighing the difference between, and tension between, grace and truth. Love the description of grace and truth being on the opposite ends of a wire stretched with tension. Draws attention to the need for a balanced approach in Christian life and practice.
Jan 03, 2011 Tauna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
Very good. Will probably read it many times. The description of how radical God's grace is compared to what we extend to others stood out to me. As well as the description of the fullness of grace and the fullness of truth.
Camille Eide
Mar 25, 2012 Camille Eide rated it it was amazing
This is such an awesome little book that clearly helps explain & encourage the important balance between sharing the truth AND the grace of Christ. Powerful little 83 pages. Must read for everyone of Christian faith.
Feb 03, 2009 Reddog rated it it was amazing
If you are a liberal Christian you should read this to see why conservative Christians aren't all wrong.

If you are a conservative Christian you should read this to see why liberal Christians aren't all wrong.
Apr 12, 2013 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This simple little 90-page book sums it all up so well! Why do we have to make it complicated? Think I'll read it again . . .
Feb 01, 2016 Rickanna rated it really liked it
The two need to be side by side and intertwined in the Christian life, if we don't live both then we will never be like Jesus. Good stuff
DonnaJo Jo Pallini
Jan 26, 2015 DonnaJo Jo Pallini rated it it was amazing
Randy Alcorn did a wonderful job of explaining and illustrating the concept of grace and the concept of truth and then bringing the two together. Highly recommend this book.
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Randy Alcorn is the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them. EPM exists to meet the needs of the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled and unsupported people around the world.

"My ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly tim
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