Skip to main content

Book: Grace by Max Lucado

Blog note: I’m going to be trying to double-post this week. Real thoughts in the morning, book in the evening. Why? Because I looked at the shelf that was “Books to Review” and “Other stuff to be done” and realized: yikes, that’s a lot of books.

Today’s book is Grace by Max Lucado. It’s published, as many of his are, by Thomas Nelson Publishers and available all over the place, except in places where it isn’t but ought to be. It looks a lot like this:

The picture links to the Thomas Nelson webpage, but you’d be wise to check prices. Jungles often provide cheaper books.

The pictures show what the book looks like, but we all know that there is a difference. A real book is multi-dimensional. It has heft, takes up space that isn’t measured in megabytes, and even has its own smell. Real books are a full-sensory experience. Pictures, while helpful, are never quite like the real thing.

Now, amplify that problem by an order of magnitude and you are approaching the  problem Max Lucado tackles in Grace. Lucado is attempting to use the ever-confusing English language to describe the matchless grace of an infinite God.

There are at least two ways to tackle that challenge. The first is to use deep theological explanations and go for several hundred pages. Grace chooses the second: short stories, heart-wrenching illustrations, and a split-feeling: it’s just enough but not quite. The former gets tough to read and certainly is not the best of encouragements in times of trouble. The latter is easy to read but sometimes easy to take too lightly.

Is Grace a challenging read? Certainly not and certainly so. The words are fairly easy, the Scripture plainly stated. The concept, though, that none of us deserve the love of God yet it overflows to all is always a challenge. Lucado makes the point, then makes the point again.

It reads, though, like Grace is a final message from Lucado. Having been around preachers for many years, and being one, there is that sense of a valedictory address that you get at times. Where someone is sharing the boiled-down core of what matters most to them. Where someone gives you the last guidance they can give you, as clearly as they can, even if it’s not all you want to know.

That is what I see in Grace: Max Lucado may be moving towards complete retirement, after all. His last book, Max On Life, read as one tying up any loose ends, and this one reads like his “If I had one chance to say something, I’d say this: Grace. You need it, but you don’t deserve it. And it is available through Jesus.”

Not a bad final chapter, if that’s what it is.

As with most of Lucado’s books, this one has a discussion guide in the back which adds value to the text.

Note: Free book from Booksneeze in exchange for the review.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…