WHAT’S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE

by: Philip Yancey
Author of THE JESUS I NEVER KNEW

In 1987, 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 beloved daughter, but I bear no grudge......I shall pray, tonight and every night, that God will forgive them.”

His words caught the media’s ears----and out of one man’s grief, the entire world got a glimpse of grace. Grace is the church’s great distinctive. It’s the one thing that 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 currently knows more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of grace?

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 be shown to the likes fo Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed and cannibalized seventeen young men?

Grace does not excuse sin, says Yancey, but it does treasure the sinner. True grace is shocking, scandalous. It shakes our conversation with its insistence on getting close to sinners and touching them with mercy and hope. It forgives the unfaithful spouse, the racists, the child abuser. It loves today’s AIDS-ridden addict as much as the tax collector of Jesus’s 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 his church. He asks, How can Christians contend graciously with moral issues that threaten all they hold so dear?

And he challenges us to become living answers to a world that desperately wants to know. What’s SO AMAZING about GRACE?

Even the best humanists devise systems of ungrace to replace those rejected by religion. Benjamin Franklin, yes; that Benjamin Franklin, settled on thirteen virtues , including Silence (“Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation”), Frugality (“Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing”), Industry (“Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions”), and Tranquillity (“Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable”).

He even set up a page for each virtue, lining a column to record “defects.” Choosing a different virtue to work on each week, he daily noted every mistake, starting over every thirteen weeks in order to cycle through the list four times a year For many decades (many decades) Franklin carried his little book with him everywhere, striving for a clean thirteen-week cycle. As he made progress, he found himself struggling with yet another defect:

There is perhaps no one of natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it. Struggle with it. Stifle it. Mortify it as much as one pleases. It is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself..........Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.

Could such vigorous efforts, in all its forms, betray a deep longing for grace?

We live in an atmosphere chocked with the fumes of ungrace. How easily it vanishes from our dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest, look-out-for-number -one world. Guilt exposes a longing for grace. An organization in Los Angeles operates the Apology Sound-Off Line, a telephone service that gives callers am opportunity to confess their wrongs for the price of a phone call. People who no longer believe in priests now trust their sins to answering machine. Hundreds of anonymous callers contact the service, every day (Adultery is a common confession) Some callers confess to criminal acts: rape, sexual abuse, and even murder.

A colleague once caught the agnostic actor, W. C. Fields, in his dressing room reading a Bible. Embarrassed, Fields snapped the book shut and explained, “Just looking for loopholes.” Probably, he was looking for grace. During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate continue for quite some time until C. S. Lewis wandered in to the room. “What’s the rumpus all about?” he asked, and heard in reply that his colleague were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among all world religions. Lewis immediately responded, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.” After a short discussion, the conferees had to agree. The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, no future obligation, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. The Buddhist eight-fold path, the Hindu doctrine of karma, the Jewish covenant, and the Muslim code of law-------each of these offers a way to earn approval. Only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.

How different are these stories from my own childhood notions about God: a God who forgives, yes, but reluctantly, after making the penitent squirm. I always imagined God as a distant thundering figure who fear and respect to love. Instead, Jesus tell us of the father’s exhilaration------“This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found”------and then adds this buoyant phrase, “they began to make merry.”

What blocks forgiveness is not God’s reticence--------“But, while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him”-------but ours. God’s arms are always extended, we are the ones who run away. The story of the Prodigal Son, after all, appears in a string of three stories told by Jesus------the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son-----all of which seem to make the same point. Each underscores the loser’s sense of loss, tells of the thrill of discovery, and ends with a sense of great jubilation. Jesus says in effect, “do you want to know what it feels like to be God? When one of his two-legged humans pays attention to me, it feel like I just reclaimed my most valuable possession, which I had given up for lost.” To God himself, it feel like the discovery of a lifetime.

Grace is shocking personal. As Henri Nouwen points out, “God rejoices. Not because the problems of the world have been solved, not because all human pain and suffering have come to an end, not because thousands of people have been converted and are now praising him for his goodness. NO, God rejoices because one of his children has been found.” Ungrace plays like the background static of life for families, nations, and institutions. It is, sadly, our natural human state.

I once shared a delightful meal with two scientists of my acquaintance who had just emerged from the glass-enclosed “Biosphere” near Tucson, Arizona. Four men and four women had volunteered for the two-year isolation experiment. (You no doubt read about it) All were accomplished scientists,; naturally, all had undergone very extensive psychological testing and preparation, and all had entered the biosphere fully briefed on the rigors they would have to face while sealed off from the entire outside world. My friends, (the scientists), told me that within a matter of months the eight “bionauts” had split into two groups of four, and that during the final months of the experiment these two groups refused to speak to each other. That’s right, eight educated people lived in a bubble split in half by an invisible wall of ungrace.

Tony Campolo sometimes asks students at secular universities what they know about Jesus. Can you recall anything that Jesus said? By clear consensus they always reply.”Love your enemies.” (L. Gregory Jones observes, “Such a call to love one’s enemies is startling in its frank acknowledgment that faithful Christians will even have enemies. While Christ decisively defeated sin and evil through his cross and resurrection, the influence of sin and evil have not fully come to and end.) More than any other teaching of Christ, that one really stands out to an unbeliever. Such an attitude is unnatural , perhaps even downright suicidal. It’s hard enough to forgive your rotten brothers, as Joseph did, but your enemies? The gang of thugs down the block? Iraqis? The drug dealers poisoning our nation?

Most ethicists would agree instead with the philosopher Immanuel Kant, who argues that a person should only be forgiven if he deserves it. But the word forgive contains the word ”give” (just as the word pardon contains donum, gift) Like grace, forgiveness has about it the maddening quality of being undeserved, unmerited, unfair. Why would God require of us an unnatural act that defies every primal instinct? What makes forgiveness so important that it becomes central to our faith? From my experience as an often-forgiven, sometimes -forgiving person, I can suggest several reasons, and do throughout the book. The first is theological. (Chapters follow with interesting answers for you, the Editor.)

The scandal of forgiveness confronts anyone who agrees to a moral cease-fire just because someone say, “I’m sorry.” When I feel wronged, I can contrive a hundred reasons against forgiveness.

He needs to learn a lesson. I don’t want to encourage irre- sponsible behavior. I’ll let her stew for a while; it will do her good. She needs to learn that actions have consequences. I was the wronged party------it’s not up to me to make the first move. How can I forgive if he’s not even sorry? First, forgiveness alone can halt the cycle of blame and pain, breaking the chain of ungrace.

Walter Wink tells of two peacemakers who visited a group of Polish Christians ten years after the end of World War II. “Would you be willing to meet with other Christians from West Germany? The peacemakers asked. “They want to ask forgiveness for what Germany did to Poland during the war and to begin to build a new relationship.” At first there was silence. Then, finally, one Pole spoke. What you are asking is impossible. Each stone of Warsaw is soaked in Polish blood! We cannot forgive!’ Before the group departed, however, they decided to say the Lord’s Prayer together. When they reached toe words “forgive us our sins as we forgive.........,” everyone stopped praying. Tension swelled in the room. The Pole who had spoken so vehemently said, “I must say yes to you. I could no more pray the Our Father, I could no longer call myself a Christian, if I refused to forgive. Humanly speaking, I cannot do it, but God will give us his strength!” Eighteen months later the Polish and West Germany Christians met together in Vienna, establishing friendships that continue to this very day.

A recent book, The Wages of Guilt, explores the differences in approach to war guilt by Germany and Japan. German survivors, like those who apologized to the Poles, tend to accept responsibility for the crimes committed during the war. For example, when Berlin’s mayor Willy Brandt visited Warsaw in 1970, he fell to his knees before the memorial to the victims of the Warsaw ghetto. “This gesture .........was not planned.,” he wrote. “Oppressed by the memories of Germany’s recent history, I simply did what people do when words fail them.” In contrast, Japan has ben reluctant to acknowledge any guilt over their role in the war Emporeror Hirohito announced.............(continued pg. 124.)

Alex, a stout grand fatherly man, epitomizes the old guard of warriors who have prayed for more than half a century that change might come to the Soviet Union----the very change we were apparently now witnessing. He spoke slowly and softly to General Stolyarov. “General, many members of my family suffered because of this organization.” Alex said. “I myself had to leave the land I loved. Mu uncle, who was very dear to me, went to a labor camp in Siberia and never returned. General, you say that you repent. Christ taught us how to respond. On behalf of my family, on behalf of my uncle who died in Gulag, I forgive you.” And then, Alex Leonovich, Christian evangelist, reached over to General Nikolai Stolyarov, the vice-chairman of the KGB, and gave him a Russian bear hug. While they embraced, Stolyarov whispered something to Alex, and not until much later did we learn what he said. “Only two times in my life have I cried. Once was when my mother died. The other is tonight.” “I feel like Moses,” said on the bus home that evening. “I have seen the promised land. I am ready for glory.” The Russian photographer accompanying us had a less sanguine view. “It was all an act,” he said. “They were putting on a mask for you. I can’t believe it.” Yet, he too wavered, apologizing a short time later: “Maybe I was wrong. I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

Most Americans got their first glimpse of the scene when ABC interrupted their Sunday movie, Judgement at Nuremberg, to show footage. What the viewers saw broadcast live from Alabama bore a horrifying resemblance to what they had just been watching on film from Nazi Germany. Eight days later President Lyndon Johnson submitted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the U. S. Congress.

King had developed a sophisticated strategy of war fought with grace, not gunpowder. He never refused to .met with his adversaries. He opposed policies but not personalities. Most importantly, he countered violence with nonviolence, and hatred with love. “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” he exhorted his followers. “We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meting physical violence with soul force.”

King’s associate Andrew Young remembers those turbulent days as a time when they sought to save “black men’s bodies and white men’s souls.” Their real goal .King said, was not to defeat the white man but “to awaken a sense of shame within the oppressor and challenge his false sense of superiority....The end is reconciliation the end is redemption, the end is the creation of the beloved community.” And that, my friend, is what Martin Luther King, Jr. finally set into motion, even in die-hard racists like me. The beautiful power of grace disarmed my own stubborn evil.

In his book The Prisoner and the Bomb, Laurens van der Post recounts the misery of his wartime experiences in a Japanese prison camp in Java. In that unlikely place he concluded, The only hope for the future lay in an all-embracing attitude of forgiveness of the peoples who have been our enemies. Forgiveness, my prison experience had taught me, was not mere religious sentimentality; it was as fundamental a law of human spirit as the law of gravity. If one broke the law of gravity one broke one’s neck; if one broke this law of forgiveness one inflicted a mortal wound on one’s spirit and became once again a member of the chain-gang of mere cause and effect from which life has labored so long and painfully to escape.

I have also read some of the letters Mel received in response to his book Stranger at the Gate. Most came from gay people and simply told a story. Like Mel, many of the letter writers had attempted suicide. Like Mel, many had experienced nothing but rejection from the church. Eighty thousand, and counting, books sold, forty-one thousand reader responses----------could ratio say something about the hunger for grace in the homosexual community?

I have watched Mel try to forge a new career. He lost all his former clients, his income dropped by seventy-five percent, and he had to move from his luxury home to an apartment. As the minister of justice for the MCC denomination, he now spends much of his time speaking to small church groups of gay men and women, groups which, to put it kindly, do nothing to feed the speaker’s ego.

The whole idea of a “gay church” seems bizarre to me. I have met celibate, non-practicing homosexuals who wish desperately that another church would welcome them, but have found none. I feel sad that the churches that I attend are missing out on the spiritual gifts of these Christians, and sad too that the MCC denomination seems to me so fixated on sexual issues. Mel and I have deep differences. I cannot condone many of the decisions he has made. “One day we may face each other on the other side of the picket lines.” he predicted several years ago. “What will happen to our friendship then?”

I remember one difficult confrontation in a Red Lion Inn coffee shop just after I returned from Russia. I was just bursting with news of the fall of communism, of the new openness to Christ in nearly a third of the world, of incredible words I had heard straight from the lips of Gorbachev and from the KGB. It seemed a rare moment of grace in a century that has known so little. Mel, though, had en entirely different agenda. “Can you support my ordination?” he asked. At the time homosexuality, not to say sexuality, was far from my mind. I was thinking of the fall of Marxism, the end of the cold war, the emancipation of the Gulag. “No,” I told Mel after a moment’s thought. “Based on your history and what I read in the Epistles, I don’t think you qualify. If I were voting on you ordination, I would vote no.”

It took months for our relationship to recover from that one conversation. I had responded honesty, off the cuff, but to Mal it sounded like a direct and personal rejection. I try to put myself in his place, to understand what it must be like for him to remain friends with a person who writes for Christianity Today magazine and who represents the evangelical establishment that has caused him such pain. How easy it would be for him to surround himself with like-minded supporters.

Frankly, I think our friendship takes far more grace on Mel’s part than on mine.

The Bible’s. many fierce passages on sin appear in a new light once I understand God’s desire to press me towards repentance, the doorway to grace. Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” In other words, he awakens guilt for my own benefit. God seeks not to crush me but to liberate me, and liberation requires a defenseless spirit light like that of a woman caught red-handed, not the haughty spirit of the Pharises.

Unless a flaw comes to light it cannot be healed. Alcoholics know that unless a person acknowledges the problem-----“I am an alcoholic”------there is no hope of cure. For skilled deniers, such a confession may require excruciating intervention by family and friends, who “write on the ground” the shameful truth until the alcoholic admits it. In Tournier’s words, .......believers who are most desperate about themselves are the ones who express most forcefully their confidence in grace. There is a St. Paul........and a St. Francis of Assisi, who affirmed that he was the greatest sinner of all men; and a Calvin, who asserted that man was incapable of doing good and knowing God by his own power........

“It is the saints who have a sense of sin.” as Father Danielou says; “the sense of sin is the measure of a soul’s awareness of God.”

“The finer the net is woven, the more numerous the holes.” wrote the Catholic theogian Hans Kung. Having sworn allegiance to the 2,414 canons in the Roman Code of Canon Law, one day he realized his energy was going towards either keeping or getting around those cannons, rather than accomplishing the work of the gospel.

For those who not rebel, but rather strive sincerely to keep the rules, legalism sets yet another trap. The feelings of failure may cause long-lasting scars of shame. As a young monk, Martin Luther would spend as long as six hours racking his brain to confess the sins he might have committed the previous day! Luther wrote:

Although I lived a blameless life as a monk, I felt that I was a sinner with an uneasy conscience before God. I also could not believe that I had pleased him with my works. Far from loving the righteous God who punished sinners, I actually loathed him. I was a good monk, and kept my orders so strictly that if ever a monk could get to heaven by monastic discipline, I was that monk. All my companions in the monastery would confirm this......And yet my conscience would not give me certainty, but I always doubted and said,”You didn’t do that right. You weren’t contrite enough. You left that out of your confession.”

The failure of relationships works both ways. As I read the history of the Israelites and their binding contract with God, I see sparse references to God’s delight or pleasure. With a few shining exceptions, the history books-----and especially the prophets-----portray a God who seems irritated, disappointed, or downright furious. The law did not encourage obedience, rather it magnified disobedience. Law merely indicated the sickness; grace brought about the cure

NOTE:

Philip Yancey serves as editor-at-large for Christianity Today magazine.

His last book, The Jesus I never Knew, was a national best-seller appearing on both the Publishers Weekly and ECPA lists, and winner of the Gold Medallion Book of the Year Award. Even better than that; Yancey has written six Gold Medallion Award-winning books including: Where is God When It Hurts?, The Gift of Pain, and Disappointment with God. He co-edited The Student Bible, which also won a Gold Medallion Award. He and his wife live in Colorado.

Editors Note:

Wait! Wait, just a minute. Don’t desert me now.

I have known Mr. Philip Jancey from his excellent work in the book The Jesus I Never Knew because it impressed me so. However, his present offering What’s So Amazing About Grace discusses a subject that has been dear to my heart for a half century involving several churches. It is so well documented and discussed that I want every person I can reach and influence to read it.

To best accomplish this important task I’m stealing an idea from the television industry, that seems to work very successfully, as they all do it all the time. You have heard it I know and today we all call it a ” teaser”. It goes something like this:

“This bulletin just in...”, “The latest on the trial of.....”, “Terrorists exploded another bomb......,” “The names of the dead.......” Will be available right here after this short commercial break. Don’t go away.”

My version goes like this: I’m going to reproduce a word (yes, a word) a sentences, some paragraphs, a page or two; what ever strikes my fancy, taken at random throughout this magnificent book with the idea that this “teaser” of mine will get you hocked somehow so that you manage to get possession of this book for enough time to read it completely yourself.

The Teasers

#1. What struck me about my friend’s story is that women like this prostitute fled towards Jesus, not away from him. The worst a person felt about herself, the more likely she saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the church lost the gift? Evidently, the down-and-outers, who flocked to Jesus when he lived on earth, no longer feel welcome among his followers. What has happened?

#2. As a writer I play with words all day long, I toy with them, listen for their overtones, crack them open, and try to stuff my thoughts inside. Now, I’ve found that words tend to spoil over the years, like old meat. Their meaning rots away. Consider the word “charity”, for instance. When King James translators contemplated the highest form of love they settled on the word “charity” to convey it. Nowadays we hear the scornful protest, “I don’t want your charity!”

#3. Perhaps, I keep circling back to “grace” because it is one grand theological word that has not spoiled. Therefore, I call it “the last best word” because every English usage I have been able to find retains some of the glory of the original.

Like a vast aquifer, the word underlies our proud civilization, reminding us that good things come not from our efforts, rather by the grace of God. Even now, despite our secular drift, taproots still stretch towards grace. Just listen to how we use the word.

Many, many people “say grace” before meals, acknowledging daily bread as a gift from God. We are grateful for someone’s kindness, gratified by good news, congratulated when successful, gracious in hosting friends. When a person’s service pleases us, we leave a gratuity. In each of these uses I hear a pang of childlike delight in the undeserved.

A composer of music may add grace notes to the score. Though not essential to the melody—they are gratuitous—these notes add a flourish whose presents would be sorely missed.. When I first attempt a piano sonata by Beethoven or Schubert I play it through a few times without the grace notes. The sonata carries along, but oh what a difference it makes when I am finally able to add the grace notes, which season the piece like savory spices.

#4. In England, some users hint loudly at the word’s theological source. British subjects address royalty as “Your grace.” Students at Oxford and Cambridge may “receive grace” exempting them from certain academic requirements. Parliament declares an “act of grace” to pardon a criminal .

#5. New York publishers also suggest the theological meaning with their policy of gracing. If I will sign up for twelve issues of their magazine, I may receive a few extra copies even after my subscription has expired. These are” grace issues” sent free of charge (or, gratis) to tempt me to resubscribe. Credit cards, rental car agencies, and mortgage companies, just to name a few, likewise extend to customers an undeserved “grace period.”

#6. I also learn about a word from its opposite. Newspapers speak of the communism’s “fall rom grace.” A phrase similarly applied to Jimmy Swaggart, Richard Nixon , O. J. Simpson (add some of your own.) We insult a person by pointing dearth out the of grace: “You ingrate!” we say, or worse, “You’re a disgrace!” Or, for instance, in the case of a really despicable person , having no “saving grace.” Now, my favorite use of the root word grace occurs in the mellifluous phrase persona non grata: a person who offends the U. S. Government by some act of treachery is officially proclaimed a “person without grace.”

The many uses of the word in English convinces me that grace is indeed amazing --------truly our last -- best -- word.

It contains the essence of the gospel as a drop of water contains the image of the sun. The world thirst for grace in ways it does not even understand nor recognize. Little wonder the hymn “Amazing Grace” edged its way onto the Top Ten charts two hundred years after composition. For a society adrift, without moorings, I know of no better place to drop an anchor of faith.

#7. “The great Christian revolutions.” Said H. Richard Niebuhr, “comes not by the discovery of something new that was not known before. They happen when somebody takes radically something that was always there” Oddly, I sometimes find a shortage of grace within the church, an institution founded to proclaim, in Paul’s phrase, “the gospel of God’s grace.”

#8. Author Stephen Brown notes that a veterinarian can learn a lot about a dog owner he has never met just by watching and observing the dog. What does the world learn about God by watching his followers here on earth? Trace the rots of grace, or charis in Greek, and you find a verb that means “I rejoice, I am glad.” In my experience , rejoicing and gladness are not the first images that come to mind when people think of church. They are most apt to think of holier-than-thous. They think of church as some place to go after you have cleaned up you act, not before or during. They think of morality, not grace.

“Grace is everywhere, said the dying priest in Georges Bernanos’s novel Diary of a Country Priest. Yes, but how easily we pass by, deaf to the euphony.

All Right!

All right! If you have successfully resisted all of the seven “teasers” and tuned out already then you won’t mind my trying seven more because you have already made up you mind and gone on to poetry, words to the wise, etc. from the main menu.

Now. To those fence setters, you “mug-wumps” politically speaking, “Thanks for letting me continue.”

#1. Grace is Christianity’s best gift to the world, a spiritual nova in our midst exerting a force stronger than vengeance, stronger than racism, stronger than even hate. Sadly, to a world desperate for this grace the church sometimes presents one or more forms of ungrace.

#2. In his book Guilt and Grace, the Swiss doctor Paul Tournier, a man of deep personal faith, admits, “ I can not study this very serious problem of guilt with you without raising the very obvious and tragic fact that religion----my own as well as that of all believers----can crush instead of liberate.”

#3. Mark Twain used to talk about people who were, “good in the worst sense of the word.”

#4. William James, perhaps the leading American philosopher of the last century, had a sympathetic view of the church, as expressed in his classic study, The Varieties of Religious Experience. Still, he struggled to understand the pettiness of Christians who persecuted Quakers for not tipping their hats and who vigorously debated the morality of war.

#5. Mark Twain used to say he put a cat and a dog in a cage together as an experiment, to sed if they could get along. They did, so he put in a bird, pig, and as goat. They ,too, got along fine after a short period of adjustment. Then, he put in a Baptist, Presbyterian, and a Catholic: soon, there was not a living thing left!

#6. In the words of HelmutThielicke, “....the devil succeeded in laying his cuckoo eggs in a pious nest...The sulphurous stench of hell is. as nothing compared to the evil odor emitted by divine grace gone putrid.”

#7. Lewis Smedes, a professor in psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, wrote an entire book drawing connections between shame and grace (titled, appropriately, Shame and Grace). For him, “Guilt was not my problem as I felt it. What I felt most was a glob of unworthiness that I could not tie down to any concrete sins I was guilty of. What I needed more than pardon was a sense that God accepted me, and would never let go of me, even if he was not too much impressed with what he had on his hands.”

#8. Hemingway knew about the ungrace of families. pg. 38

Forrest Gump Pg. 40

My favorite unusual wedding banquet, Boston Globe, June 1990. pg.48

“Not seven times, but seventy-seven times seven.” pg. 63

That was not Jesus’ point. All emphasized the finder’s joy. pg. 80.

In a world that runs by ungrace, Jesus requires –no demands forgiveness.

As Kathryn Watterson recounts in the book . Not By The Sword. pg. 101

The Art of Forgiving. (Humanity-forgiveness-justice) pg. 106.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather . Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven pg. 116

The above were selected from the first one-half of the book. Imagine what the rest of the book is like after he has gotten you warned to the subject matter. If I have failed to get you interested in his book that’s my inexperience showing because he is good.

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