(I’ll tell you how to win a copy of this book at the end of the post)
Every book has a flavor.
Some books leave you grateful to God for His mercy, or in awe of His majesty. Other books stir your heart to pursue holiness or share the gospel. Some books leave you burdened under a great weight of guilt.
Tullian Tchividjian’s new book, Surprised By Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Sovereign Grace, is richly flavored with God’s sovereign grace.
The book stares long and hard at the book of Jonah, and traces the lines of God’s sovereign grace that run through Jonah’s life.
Jonah was a great prophet, Ninevah was a wicked Assyrian city. God commanded Jonah to call Ninevah to repentance. Jonah wasn’t too excited about preaching to a pagan sin city, and decided to make a break for it.
God should have crushed Jonah for his blatant disobedience. God should have crushed Ninevah for its incredible wickedness. But God is full of surprising, sovereign grace, and he extended that grace to Jonah. It was God’s grace that caused a vicious storm to hunt down Jonah. It was God’s grace that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. It was God’s grace that Jonah cried out for mercy. It was God’s grace that gave Jonah a second opportunity for obedience, and it was God’s grace that Ninevah, an evil, Gentile city, was given the opportunity to repent.
Grace is for self-righteous sinners like Jonah, and for foul cities like Ninevah. The book of Jonah is thoroughly flavored with grace.
This grace is a picture of the grace every sinner receives in the gospel of Christ.
Jesus is really God’s “great wind”, his “mighty tempest” in response to human running and rebellion. Jesus is the storm. Jesus is God’s gracious intervention for those who are enslaved to themselves. (pg. 52)
Grace is not an opportunity to try harder. It’s an opportunity to marvel at God’s greatness and our weakness.
When we realize that he’s God and we’re not – that he’s massive and we’re minute – that’s all it takes for us to become a part of great and powerful God-things. (pg. 101)
The great strength of this book is that it looks at grace from a fresh perspective. In our Christian ghettos, grace is a word that gets tossed around rather casually. I recommend Surprised by Grace to all those who feel that they’ve become overly familiar with grace. To those who need to be freshly surprised by grace.
To win this book, leave a comment saying something along the lines of, “I would gladly sell all my possessions if I could own a copy of this book.” I’ll randomly pick a winner.