Book Review: Graciousness; Tempering Truth with Love

If you were to ask a person what is the greatest problem with the world right now it could probably be summed up by the fact that no one loves their neighbor as he/she would like to be loved. Or put another way no one is gracious with anyone else.

This book is a much needed wake-up call for believers who need to be reminded that Christ’s imperatives (what we are called to do) are the only result of the indicatives (what He has done for us) affecting our lives.

This book is easily accessible for all readers, but I think it will find a nice niche in the Christian Living section, where people no matter whether they have had a seminary education or have had a Sunday School education, all will find this book immensely helpful and fruitful.

The book has two sections the first lays out the Biblical mandate for graciousness in all walks of life. No matter what the person has done or not done to you, no matter where that person is or is from, no matter whether they love or hate you, all are worthy of our graciousness. This idea graciousness is intrinsically attached to our being all being made in God’s image and His call for us to love our neighbors as ourselves.¬† The second section deals with practical ways to live this concept out. I found this section to be one part encouraging, one part enlightening and one part convicting, making a well rounded approach to the living out of the commands to be gracious.

In conclusion, I give this book five stars, it is an easy read in that it is accessible, but it is a difficult read because it will not allow you to skate on by and keep the same level of ungraciousness (yup I made that word up) that is so common in our world today. Highest recommendation.


Book Review: Unimaginable by Jeremiah J. Johnston

What our world would be like without Christianity. With a tag line like that how could I not read this book. I teach Church History and Bible to high school students, and this kind of book is invaluable to me as I try to show them just how important the Church has been for the world as we know it.

The book is laid out in three logical sections that make sense as they explain 1. What the world was like before Christianity, 2, What the world would be like without Christianity and 3. How the world was shaped by Christianity. All three are well researched and well thought out (the endnotes, which are super annoying, love footnotes so much more, not as much flipping back and forth, are 31 pages long at about eight point font!!!).

While some people will complain that Johnston paints with too broad a brush. As in he makes a lot of summaries about a lot of different things, such as analyzing Freud’s life or the influence of Darwin’s teachings. While this is a very valid criticism, I think it is unfounded in that this book is exactly what is trying to be: an introduction to why Christianity is so important and needs to stay around in a world that is actively attacking and minimizing it. For a longer treatment, I suggest you look at the end notes and see a few other longer book length treatments of issues you are interested in.

In summary, other than a little ecumenism concerning Catholics and Protestants, I found this book very very interesting and one that I would recommend to anyone interested in why Christianity matters and what it has contributed to our world. Highly recommended!

Thankful to Cross Focused Reviews for a review copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

Book can be purchased here