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What's So Amazing about Grace?

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  32,489 Ratings  ·  898 Reviews
In 1987, an IRA bomb buried Gordon Wilson and his twenty-year-old daughter beneath five feet of rubble. Gordon alone survived. And forgave. He said of the bombers, "I have lost my daughter, but I bear no grudge. . . . I shall pray, tonight and every night, that God will forgive them."His words caught the media's ear--and out of one man's grief, the world got a glimpse of g ...more
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Published December 1st 2005 by Zondervan (first published 1997)
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Edward Waters
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
STILL one of the best books I've ever read, of ANY genre -- also one of the few I've read as many as FIVE times (so far), most recently aloud with my wife, who has long struggled with clinical depression and was deeply encouraged by this work.

I've been a Christian for some forty years and have found much 'religious' writing unbearable, particularly that written over the past century (with certain notable exceptions). In an age glutted with so-called 'Christian' politics, posturing, and propagand
...more
Jonathan
Dec 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Few books reveal the core of what the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ is in its frightening, glorious, unparalled nature. Yancey comes very close to doing so in using an array of diverse, complex, beautiful, and amazing stories to illustrate the true grace of the gospel. These stories aren't cheesy, long-winded, and annoying--as many Christian books succumb to when authors seek to illustrate spiritual/Christian concepts through stories--but are transparent, beautiful, sometimes shocking, and ...more
Marie
Nov 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Marie by: Holly
Yancey is thorough in his examples of grace. He uses his own life experiences, everything from being part of a racist church as a child to interviewing President Clinton to dissect grace. Yancey is clear, grace is the true message of Jesus and today's Christians as a whole are not doing a great job of relaying this message. Grace is the idea that God loves us--all of us--no matter what; no one has to earn God's love. Yancey presents many ways in which the world needs grace. His argument is power ...more
Fatemeh sherafati
وقتی شروع به خوندن این کتاب کردم تصوری از محتواش نداشتم. واسه همین وقتی با محتوای پیرامون دین مسیحیت مواجه شدم یکم جا خوردم. ولی هرچی بیشتر پیش رفتم به شباهت های همه ی ادیان الهی، و شباهت های رسولان این ادیان بیشتر پی بردم.

نویسنده تو این کتاب بسیار تاکید کرده که فیض مختص پیروان مسیح هست، در صورتی که به نظرم با نگاه به اصل ماجرا می شه گفت فیض مختص به دین مسیحیت نیست و سایر مخلوقات هم می تونند از فیض بهره مند بشن. به نظرم خدا می تونه هر وقت که دلش خواست بنده ش رو مورد آمرزش و یا لطف خودش قرار بده
...more
Chris  "Gunner" McGrath
This book contains a good exploration of the concept of grace, not from a heavy theological perspective but a simpler, practical one, by presenting many modern examples of grace in action along side Biblical references. Some of these were very compelling to me and some fell kind of flat for me, just based on the kinds of stories that interest me.

But overall I enjoyed the book and was inspired by it. I would not say it contains anything groundbreaking for someone not new to Christianity, but jus
...more
Lynai
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Grace is amazing. More thoughts soon.

***UPDATE***

Also posted in It's A Wonderful Bookworld.

Except for work-related readings, I rarely read non-fiction books, and if I indeed find myself reading one, it would always be Christian literature. The first time I encountered Philip Yancey was through his book, Disappointment with God, and it was during one of the tumultuous moments of my life. That book did not answer the questions I had that time, but it made me feel that I was not alone in m
...more
Jim B
As Yancy usually does, he tackles the hard issues, especially "ungrace" among Christians. He quotes a prostitute about church, "Church! Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They'd just make me feel worse." The first section is a beautiful exposition of grace. Yancy uses "Babette's Feast" as a model of grace. C.S. Lewis overheard a debate about Christianity's unique contribution to the world and he responded, "That's easy: Grace." This book establishes the uniqu ...more
Dani
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book has honestly changed my perspective on Christianity, religion, politics and my own relationship with Jesus.

All too often Christians are viewed as being critical, judgmental, unforgiving, harsh, condemning and downright mean. Yet everything in Jesus' life showcased grace. If I am supposed to be living as an example of Christ to the rest of the world, why do I so often miss the boat when it comes to grace? There were very few instances in the Bible that Jesus responded to situations the
...more
Josh Crews
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got the "visual" edition of this book from Stephie right after I became a Christian in South Africa. (Later I read the full edition)

So I got to dwell by myself in Africa with a Bible, this book, and an RC Sproul book.

The visual pages of What's So Amazing About Grace unfolded as amazing news! Is this really true? God has pardoned dirty criminals through the death of his Son? It's free? No pre-requisites? It's just... by grace? My death sentence for hating God has been paid for by another... whi
...more
Perri
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy to read book about one of my favorite words in the English language. It only took so long to read because I hid my Kindle from the GKid then forgot where. But it's the kind of book you can pick up anytime and jump back in. Yancey is a natural story teller and I felt encouraged and enlightened by his examples of grace. Four and a half stars
Ali Murphy
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grace is something that is incredibly simple in theory, deeply personal and very difficult to implement in our everyday lives. Grace is the defining element of Christianity and it is beautiful. Yet, the idea that we are loved and there is nothing that we can do that will change that love is met with skepticism at best and usually suspicion. Yancey makes it clear how very beautiful and simple Grace is. But he also covers "Grace Abuse" and forgiveness. All of this was thought provoking and inspire ...more
Petrea
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-kindle
The author is, I gather, popular in evangelical Christian circles. He has some really profound things to say. He starts out by discussing the grace of God and he selects certain parables and examples to make his point that God's grace is boundless, and his forgiveness beyond anything we can imagine. Then he devotes the rest of the book to talking about how much grace--or lack of grace--Christians actually exemplify in their doctrines and lives. He grew up in the southern part of the United State ...more
Ebookwormy1
I read this book for a book club and strongly disliked it. To me, it was a testimony as to why a journalist should not write theology. I found his thinking to be sloppy, uninformed, and lacking Biblical basis. All of this said, I cannot deny that it fostered a great deal of conversation, and that some of his thoughts were challenging. Just make sure you read a good dose of your Bible before you read Yancy's anecdotes.

Oftentimes, when I write a review like this, the post modern challenge is: "Do
...more
Wendy Hall
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe this is my third time reading this book. I read it when it first came out in 1997. At that time, it totally rocked me. Caused me to look at my faith and grace in a much different way. Soon thereafter, I read it again, desiring to internalize these truths. This must be the first time I have read it in over a decade and I am glad to say, all it did now was confirm and solidify my beliefs and understanding of Christ.

So, so much I could say about how this book, written from a very intelle
...more
Danny
Mar 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I enjoyed this fresh look at grace. Some of my favorite quotes include:
In my experience, rejoicing and gladness are not the first images that come to mind when people think of the church. They think of holier-than-thous. They think of church as a place to go after you have cleaned up your act, not before. They think of morality, not grace. "Church!" said the prostitute, "Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They'd just make me feel worse."
I rejected the church
...more
Linden A.
May 24, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Rec by Jenny.
Nermine Hosni
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
النعمة: الهبة التي تكلف واهبها كل شئ ولا تكلف المستفيد منها شيئاً
فالنعمة ايها الاصدقاء لا تطلب منا شيئاً سوي ان ننتظرها بثقة ونتعرف بها ونقدر وجودها ٢٦

بالنسبة الي الكثيرين ، الحب الرومانسي هو التعبير الاسمي عن النعمة الصافية اخيراً ، وجدت من يحسبني اكثر رجل علي وجه الارض جاذبيه ووسامة وحسن معشر هنالك من يأرق في الليل يفكر بي هنالك من تسامحني دون ان اسأل وتفكر بي عندما ترتدي ثيابها وتحبني كما انا وتكرس حياتها من اجلي ٤٤

انه لامر رهيب ان تكون ممتناً ولا تجد احداً تشكره وان تشعر بالرهبة ولا تجد احد
...more
Brittany
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most important books I have read about Christian spirituality. Yancey digs back to the heart of the Christian gospel: that grace is a gift freely given by God and needed by all of us. While reading this book I cried from sorrow about my own depravity and from joy because my life can be made new. As a Christian, my purpose is not to judge or damn the world, but view it through "grace tinted lenses". Very good book. Very life-changing.
Jeff Stevens
Yancey's just slightly ahead of his time. In 1997 he realizes there's a sickness at the heart of American Fundamentalism's soul, even if he misdiagnoses a vicious pneumonia as a cold. Unlike Gabe Lyons (unChristian) writing several years later, Yancey's honest enough to know that what the cult needs is more than a better PR job. He is even honest enough to allow that Fundamentalism's approach to belief may not be perfect, a difficult assertion for a member of a movement that values obedience to ...more
Mel
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Mel by: Jupiter Tecson
Shelves: christian, borrowed
This is one of the books that I both like and hate. I agree to how Philip Yancey portrays the "Christians" he has encountered. Many of those who call themselves Christians seem to have an attitude of hate rather than love; who are bent on making rules and making sure everybody follows it, an "modern day pharisee". Then again I disagree with the general definition of grace in the book. Instead of the true essence of grace, it was defined as license, a point exemplified with the story of when the ...more
Laura
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book by one of my favorite authors, definitely my favorite author in the modern Christian non-fiction genre. Philip Yancey is so good at criticizing the Evangelical subculture from within. As he explains early in the book, there's lots to dislike about the church today. But the church is where God's grace is. This book convicted me about recognizing the grace God has given me. (I just feel so deserving.) It also inspired me to do a better job of showing grace to others, (even ...more
Karen
I have had this book for a couple years, started it a few times but never finished it until now. I'm so glad I finally read it. It's very thought-provoking but more than that it is moving. Grace, we are shown, really is amazing! It is illogical, shocking and wonderful! Furthermore it applies to individuals, families, churches, even countries.

This made me take stock of my own life, and that I think is why this book is worth the read. It is so much more than an intellectual exercise. This book rei
...more
Lisa
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Philip Yancey is one of my very favorite Christian authors. I loved his book "Prayer" and now this one. I can't wait to read the rest. This book has so many great things to say - such as:

God dispenses gifts, not wages.
In the realm of grace, the word DESERVE does no even apply.
The only thing harder than forgiveness is the alternative.
Believers who are most desperate about themselves are the ones who express most forcefully their confidence in grace.

And so on. Oh, read it. It's just wonderful!
Sparhawk
Mar 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
Definitely one of the most moving, and thoughtful books I've read. The author, Philip Yancey, writes in a very down to earth, easy to follow manner about what grace truly is. Using stories, and examples of situations that happened in his and other peoples lives, he is able to paint us a picture of how truly awesome the power of grace is. One that I think many of us can easily relate to, as we learn how lucky we are to have the opportunity of Grace.

It is a truly humbling read, and I'd recommend i
...more
Dominic
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
rating

THE GOOD: Not much.

THE BAD: Does not clearly define grace and it just seemed to me like he was constantly walking around the subject the whole time. Was not very interesting, although occasionally inspirational. Would not particularly recommend.

THE UGLY: Almost did not finish reading this book. Don't waste your time.
The Book Man
~ “Disa prej nesh, kemi frike kaq shume nga ferri, saqe harrojme te gezojme udhetimin tone drejte parajses.”

~ “Falja => te clirosh, te flakesh tej, te lirosh veten.”

~ “Bota eshte e etur per hir. Kur hiri zbret, bota bie ne heshtje perpara tij.”

C’TE MIRE KA NJE RRUGE, E CILA NUK TE CON NE NJE KISHE?
Mariya
Aug 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yancey is my favorite Christian writer. This book explains grace and how there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or less. He simply loves us, regardless of anything. From his grace towards us, we can then learn to be graceful to others - become less judgemental, more forgiving, and significantly more at peace with life.
Sam Kang
Apr 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mustreads
Grace is such an overlooked word in the modern english language but it is the peculiar distinction that separates the Christian faith apart from all other religions. When Christians stop and actually investigate the Bible, we find that the Bible is littered with grace, beginning all the way in Genesis!
John
Mar 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
yancey is one of those guys that is a closet liberal that writes to a conservative right-wing audience. i'm glad that he's stayed a part of the ccm movement in order to influence it with his experiences and perspectives. i also enjoyed his reflective, pseudo-contemplative style throughout this book (making it a post-modern hit).
Sandy
I never really "got" grace until reading this. It's a faith altering concept that challenged and changed the very core of what I believed.

2009 Note: Read this again with a bible study group. Still a great book and led to lots of intense discussion.
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A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Philip Yancey earned graduate degrees in Communications and English from Wheaton College Graduate School and the University of Chicago. He joined the staff of Campus Life Magazine in 1971, and worked there as Editor and then Publisher. He looks on those years with gratitude, because teenagers are demanding readers, and writing for them taught him a lasting principle: ...more
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“God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are.” 60 likes
“Having spent time around "sinners" and also around purported saints, I have a hunch why Jesus spent so much time with the former group: I think he preferred their company. Because the sinners were honest about themselves and had no pretense, Jesus could deal with them. In contrast, the saints put on airs, judged him, and sought to catch him in a moral trap. In the end it was the saints, not the sinners, who arrested Jesus.” 54 likes
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