Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: Tullian Tchividjian - Surprised by Grace

Genre: Christian Living
Publisher: Crossway Books
Publication Date: May 31, 2010


It’s one of the most familiar stories in the Old Testament. All Christians know it. Most non-Christians have at least heard of it (if they’ve watched the movie Master and Commander, for example). Some may mock it, but there’s a fascination with the story of Jonah. God tells this guy to go preach doom to some people. He doesn’t want to go and leaves on a ship so God works it out so a whale swallows him alive. After praying inside the whale, the guy is spit out on the beach. Then, he goes to preach to the people. Moral: Do what God says or he’ll get you.

That’s most people’s basic understanding of the story. But there’s so much more to it than that. God reveals so much more of His character in the story of Jonah than most people realize. In his new book, Surprised by Grace, pastor Tullian Tchividjian takes readers on a grace-filled ride through Jonah’s familiar yet surprising story of God’s pursuit of those who run from Him. It’s a fantastic journey, and one that will have me thinking about Jonah’s story (and God’s grace) differently from now on.

After setting the scene with a brief introduction to the story and some pre-emptive strikes against the objections people might have to the historical accuracy of the story, Tchividjian begins to slowly unpack the numerous layers of meaning and insight in Jonah’s short story. It’s always encouraging to hear the gospel of God’s grace preached from the Old Testament, and that’s exactly what this book does. Tchividjian uses various sources (with large doses of John Calvin) to demonstrate from Jonah that God is sovereign over all events and works all things together for the good of his children by His grace. What appears to be a story about a guy being swallowed by a fish for disobeying God is shown to actually be God’s gracious provision for a man struggling with fear and pride, a state to which all of us can relate.

If, like me, you grew up hearing the story of Jonah but never really listening to it, let me encourage you to read this book. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and the book of Jonah demonstrates that his grace was just as prominent in the Old Testament as during the time of Christ and today. He’s a gracious, loving Father who pursues His children however far from Ninevah they run. I repeatedly saw myself in Tchividjian’s descriptions of Jonah’s responses to God, and this book encouraged me that God’s relentless grace pursues me in exactly the same way it did Jonah so long ago.

FREE GIVEAWAY: If you'd like to win a free copy of this book, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post explaining why. I'll choose a winner next week (June 2nd), so you have until then. U.S Residents only and please leave some way for me to contact you.
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The contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered. I'll be contacting the winner via email.




This book was provided for review by Crossway Books in exchange for a review. No expectation of a positive review existed.

18 comments:

Todd said...

I would like to win a copy of this book, because it sounds amazing and it looks like I am about the first to comment.

Brandon said...

I would like a copy of this book because it sounds so fascinating. I would absolutely love to go deeper and learn what amazing truths I can get out of such a simple, popular biblical story. I've also become a big fan of what Pastor Tulian has to say.

Frank Gantz said...

A copy of the book would be nice. I have so appreciated Tulian's grace and leadership. I can be contacted at fgantz12@yahoo.com.

Kevin Fiske said...

Thanks for making a copy available! I would love to win the book because I'm interested in Tchividjian's interaction with Calvin in his testimony of God's grace in his own life...ALSO, I'll be visiting Coral Ridge, where Tullian preaches, on my honeymoon coming up at the end of June! If I'm chosen, you can email me at kevinfiske@gmail.com

THANKS!

Brad Murray said...

I would love to win this book because it looks very interesting!

Josh Hair said...

I know I should get a free copy of this book because Matt Chandler said it challenged him... What other reason do you need!!!??

bloodbought said...

I would like to win this book because I know my tendency towards legalism and am constantly aware of my failures instead of grace. Theoretically I know the gospel and have a big view of God, but practically I can grow in so many ways.

-Lew

Audrey said...

I've read several reviews of this book and they all leave me wanting to add this to my wishlist. Any book that reminds me of God's grace is a refreshing read. I haven't read anything by Tchividjian so I'd love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for offering a copy as a giveaway.

Jason Elam said...

I'd love to win a copy of this book because I am a recovering Pharisee and I desperately need to strengthen my understanding of grace for my own sake and for the sake of those that I serve.

jason.elam@me.com

emlg said...

I would love to have this book, PastorTullian has the most unique name and he likes to tweet A LOT :)

Charlie Wiles said...

As my 10 year old granddaughter and I read your blog and are asked why we would want this book. I looked at her and asked why we would want the book. She said "I know because we have never read it". "So we need to get it so we can read it and see what it is about". It was a good morning today as we listened to God's Word together and responed to your question. Blessings!

Rus said...

I find great encouragement whenever God's Word shows us that His character has not changed despite our tendencies to see the God of the Old Testament as a non-grace-giving God. To be able to dive deeper into that as well as reflect on my own Jonah-like behavior would be great!

Ben said...

I would love a copy of "Surprised by Grace" because I'm in constant need of a deeper understanding of the grace of our God. I want God to do a deeper work in my heart in understanding that His grace is about resting in what He's done and not about doing things to keep His favor.

Thanks for giving away this book!

I can be reached on Twitter: benwhitt

Dave said...

This winter while I was visiting home, one of my friends asked me, "What is your favorite book of the Bible?" My answer: Jonah. I know that's not a common answer, and there are many more books that I thought about saying at that moment, but Jonah is completely about God's sovereignty, especially how He seeks the dead when they don't know they're dead. All that to say, I'd love to read a book about my favorite book, and I've never read anything by Tchividjian (since I only first heard about him a month ago).... and it could be helpful to my team overseas when we go. Thanks!

vickiv said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! Why? I want to behold the Glory of God in His inexplicable Grace!! vickivest1@gmail.com

Onward, Forward, Toward… said...

I wish to be considered for a free copy of the book "Surprised by Grace" because I believe that it would help me considerably further understand and eventually better implement the concepts of grace where I did not receive much teaching about the concept growing up pentecostal / holiness. It was all about law and celebrating when the 'enemy' went through hardships.

Before I had ever heard of the book and your contest, I have taken steps on my own to learn more about grace by signing up for a Summer, Sunday-School class about grace taught by one of my church's elders.

I feel that the book would benefit me and help me grow considerably in the area of grace

twitter id = ALOOFT

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book because I want to read it and winning it is cheaper than buying it. challis@thebowerfamily.org

STEVE CHA said...

I would like to win the copy because I need to be surprised by grace. I don't get enough grace books in my life.

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