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 grace.Grace is the church’s great distinctive. It’s the one thing the world cannot duplicate, and the one thing it craves above all else--for only grace can bring hope and transformation to a jaded world.In What’s So Amazing About Grace? award-winning author Philip Yancey explores grace at street level. If grace is God’s love for the undeserving, he asks, then what does it look like in action? And if Christians are its sole dispensers, then how are we doing at lavishing grace on a world that knows far more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of mercy?Yancey sets grace in the midst of life’s stark images, tests its mettle against horrific "ungrace." Can grace survive in the midst of such atrocities as the Nazi holocaust? Can it triumph over the brutality of the Ku Klux Klan? Should any grace at all be shown to the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed and cannibalized seventeen young men?Grace does not excuse sin, says Yancey, but it treasures the sinner. True grace is shocking, scandalous. It shakes our conventions with its insistence on getting close to sinners and touching them with mercy and hope. It forgives the unfaithful spouse, the racist, the child abuser. It loves today’s AIDS-ridden addict as much as the tax collector of Jesus’ day.In his most personal and provocative book ever, Yancey offers compelling, true portraits of grace’s life-changing power. He searches for its presence in his own life and in the church. He asks, How can Christians contend graciously with moral issues that threaten all they hold dear?And he challenges us to become living answers to a world that desperately wants to know, What’s So Amazing About Grace?
Popular writer and speaker Yancey, who wrote the bestselling The Jesus I Never Knew, has never shied away from tackling tough issues. Here he takes on the idea of grace, which, according to C.S. Lewis, is the mark that distinguishes Christianity from other religions. According to Yancey, grace is amazing because it need not be earned: it is bestowed unconditionally by God. Contemporary society, on the other hand, requires people to gain approval for their actions by following certain moral precepts and rules. Yancey combines personal anecdotes, historical events and biblical stories to illustrate the power of grace in what he calls a "world of ungrace." For example, a chapter titled "The Lovesick Father" recounts the story of a young girl who runs away from home and, through a variety of circumstances, goes from living a life of luxury to a life in the streets not knowing when she might eat next or where she might sleep for the night. When she decides to return home, she is fearful that her father will scold her, but the "lovesick father" meets her at the bus station with open and forgiving arms to take her home. This is one of the many stories Yancey tells to illustrate the amazing and powerful quality of divine grace. The book's anecdotal style is often frustrating, but Yancey's measured prose and his insights into the stories make the book worth reading.