Archives For Grace


The Light Breaks Through.
A Review of

Wounds Are Where Light Enters: Stories of God’s Intrusive Grace
Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Hardback: Zondervan, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Alexander Steward

[ Our Recent Interview with Wangerin ]

Walter Wangerin has become one of the quintessential story tellers of this day and age. His stories break through the mundane and add a personal touch to everything that he shares. Whether his stories are based upon scripture or from his own personal collection reflecting upon his own experiences, he can connect with his readers and listeners as he offers the opportunity to enter the story as well.

In his newest collection of stories, Wangerin shares stories from his own family. Stories that helped shape him as a person of God. In these stories, the reader witnesses humanity. A humanity that resides in the ordinary. A humanity that resides in the sin and the brokenness of life. The stories are endearing and are a witness that Walter Wangerin is a human being just like anyone else. Too often, pastors are put upon pedestals in the eyes of their parishioners, forgetting that they too sin just like everyone else.

Continue Reading…


Ray Hollenbach
introduces his new book:

Deeper Grace
Ray Hollenbach

Paperback: CreateSpace, 2015
Buy now:
[ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


The Surprising Depth of Grace

Set aside the question of Heaven or Hell when we reach the afterlife: what about Heaven or Hell while we live? It’s only by God’s grace that we reach Heaven, but the good news is better than we know: by God’s grace Heaven can reach us. The scripture teaches we are saved by grace. Grace begins the work of salvation in here-and-now and completes whatever is left undone in the there-and-then. Both flow from the indispensible grace of God. The world needs grace. We need grace. I need grace. Not for my last breath but for every breath.

The fabric of everyday life is alive with the grace of God. Grace forgives, but it also guides. Consider these amazing words from Titus 2:11-12: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age . . .” In these words we can hear the full symphony of God’s grace in three movements:

Continue Reading…


Becoming a Healing Community
An Interview with Jen Hatmaker

By C. Christopher Smith

ERB editor Chris Smith recently had the opportunity to chat on the phone with Jen Hatmaker about her new book, which arrives in bookstores next Tuesday:

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards

Nelson Books, 2015. Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


ERB: I read your book last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was particularly intrigued by the central theme of grace. Why is the message of grace so important and so timely today? Why is it worth, as you say, fighting for?

JH: I just turned 41, and am likely halfway done with my life, more or less. What I see at this point is that everyone is doing their best. When I was in my twenties, I knew everything. I had all the right answers. Now I see that we are all trying hard. We are doing the best that we can. We are loving our people, and trying to use our gifts.
Continue Reading…


Releasing on August 18…


For the Love:
Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards

Jen Hatmaker

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2015
Pre-order now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle]
Read my advance copy of this book last night. 

Here are two important thoughts from the book that really got my attention…



Read an excerpt of the book that contains this quote in context….
(via Google Books)


Continue Reading…


Wrestling with Effective Grace

A Feature Review of

Vanishing grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News?
Philip Yancey

Hardback: Zondervan, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Joshua Neds-Fox


Philip Yancey has an itch he can’t quite scratch. He knows that whatever it is that the Gospel is trying to get across to us, we haven’t got it right. We – and I mean the ‘little Christs,’ those of us who go to church and say our prayers, the Christians – are right this very moment failing miserably at being the kind of salt and light that preserves and illuminates the dark world, and the world in return is moving on past our gospel to other distractions. Christianity is no longer attractive to the West. Though the title suggests that Yancey is only interested in diagnosing the disease, he’s actually also seeking the cure. Yancey is wrestling with why, exactly, are we failing and what, exactly, can we do about it? As a writer, he’s doing his wrestling the only way he knows how – with words words words.
Continue Reading…


An excerpt from Anne Lamott’s brand new book…

Small Victories: Spotting Improbable moments of Grace
Anne Lamott
Hardback: Riverhead, 2014.
Buy now:  [ Amazon

“An essay collection that tackles tough subjects with sensitive and unblinking honesty…Lamott is refreshingly frank…[and] has the rare ability to weave bracing humor seamlessly with earnest, Christian faith.”
Publishers Weekly

Continue Reading…


Keeping Company with the Found:

Found: A Story of Questions, Grace and Everyday Prayer

Micha Boyett

Paperback: Worthy Publishing, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jen Pollock Michel


Lauren Winner, in her book Still: A Mid-Faith Crisis, reminds us that “middles are often defined by what they are not: the space, the years in between that which is no longer what came before and that which is not yet what will come later.” I’m nearly 40, and having arrived at the middle of motherhood, I find it exactly as Winner describes: a landscape of the “vague in-between.”


The twins (comfortable shorthand for our youngest sons, Colin and Andrew) are six now. They feed and dress themselves with a fair degree of skill, wiping their own bottoms as required. (I only remind them to flush.) The formlessness of their earliest months—nurse, diaper, swaddle, rock, repeat—has become a dim reflection, a retreating shadow.
Continue Reading…


A Witness to Vulgar Grace

A Review of

All is Grace:
A Ragamuffin Memoir

Brennan Manning

Hardback: David C. Cook, 2011.
Buy now:
[ ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Jordan Kellicut

Brennan Manning, speaker, author and proponent of grace summarizes his life, “My life is a witness to vulgar grace – a grace that amazes and offends.” I first heard his gospel of “vulgar grace” in an early work The Ragamuffin Gospel, and some twenty years later his message is the same.  Manning’s memoir is reminiscent of the old confessions of St. Augustine and St. Patrick in which history exists only to show how God makes men out of dust.  The book is divided into three sections: Part one focuses on his childhood through him taking the name “Father Brennan,” the second part up to the death of his parents, and lastly his twilight years.  It concludes with a series of photographs and touching letters from friends, revealing the profound effect that Manning had on so many.

Continue Reading…


A Brief Review of

Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self and Society.
Jay Bakker.
Hardback: FaithWords, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon – Hardback ] [ Amazon- Kindle ]

Reviewed by Bryan Berghoef.

Fall to Grace by Jay Bakker is a book about the most basic of Christian doctrines:  grace.  But don’t let that fool you.  Jay allows the idea that God accepts us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done, to push us to places some of us have been unwilling to go.  Using his own story, as well as the writings of the Apostle Paul, Bakker takes us on a new and ancient journey through the implications of grace.  Grace is not yesterday’s news.  It matters today.  Deeply.

His is not the typical story of faith.  Here was a kid supposedly steeped in this doctrine of grace from birth, with famous parents of a flourishing Christian television ministry (Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker).  Yet somehow the message never got through.  After his parents were unceremoniously humiliated over one failing after the other, he was ready to walk away from God.

Walk away he did – and who could blame him?

Continue Reading…