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Chaos and Grace: Discovering the Liberating Work of the Holy Spirit Hardcover – October 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080101350X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801013508
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Give up and give in.

It's no secret that we are addicted to control. We strive for efficiency and quantifiable results. But all that control is exhausting. And it is contrary to God's plan for us. In Chaos and Grace, Mark Galli offers you freedom from the need for control and order by introducing you to the mysterious and disorderly work of the Holy Spirit.

In this insightful book, Galli points the way to grace--which, as it happens, is usually found in the midst of chaos and crisis. Through Scripture he shows us that this problem is not unique to modern believers and helps us learn from the stories of God's people through the ages as they gave up and gave in to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit.

From the Back Cover

"To my knowledge, Chaos and Grace is the first story-framed study of the wonderful themes of the liberating presence of God's Spirit--from Genesis to Revelation we get Spirit, Spirit, Spirit, and where the Spirit is, there is freedom."--Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University; author of One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow

"Galli calls the church to awake to the Spirit of God--the Spirit who cannot be programmed, coerced, or manipulated. This book will challenge the way you think about the church in America."--Margaret Feinberg, www.margaretfeinberg.com; author of Scouting the Divine and The Organic God

"Mark always makes me think and wrestle with issues--generally mine! Biblical, solid, and honest--Chaos and Grace will force you not just to think but to examine yourself."--Bob Roberts Jr., senior pastor, NorthWood Church; author of Transformation and Glocalization

"Chaos and Grace shows the crucial value of the Holy Spirit's 'power of disorder' as contrasted to the comfortable and easy life of many modern churches. I highly recommend it."--Vinson Synan, dean emeritus, Regent University School of Divinity

"Mark Galli has had it with the idea that life can be controlled or in any way managed. He's yearning for Jesus to really mean freedom. Call this a 'theology of liberation' for evangelicals!"--Paul F. M. Zahl, former dean and president, Trinity School for Ministry; author of Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life

"Disturbing, upsetting, and disrupting. I finished this book shaken; the more I ponder what I've read, the more I suspect that the things it left rattled are my chains."--Carolyn Arends, recording artist and author

More About the Author

Mark Galli (MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary) is managing editor of Christianity Today magazine. He was a pastor for ten years and is the author of numerous books on prayer, preaching, and pastoral ministry.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not many books out there on the Holy Spirit.
And this one is written from a different perspective.
I highly recommend it!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Reading Galli's book made me love the unpredictable, uncontrollable Holy Spirit and His amazing work of liberation even more! An additional resource for group study is provided at the end...very tempting!!
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By Lorenzo Thomas on July 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author makes it clear that the sport of God does not call us into the safe places in life. Rather, the holy spirit draws is into making bold and sometimes foolish decisions. And in these chaotic callings, assures us that he will be with us.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Demoline on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In Chaos and Grace, Galli asserts that the church has forgotten the character of the God we serve. We have forgotten that He is beyond our control, unpredictable, untamable, and mysterious. In His place many churches have centered their life on idols of control, peace, and order. In the midst of this situation, Galli seeks to wake us up. He spends the first half of this book examining biblical passages in which we see how God works, how chaos and grace are defining factors of walking with God; the chaos of life beyond our control, and the grace that shines through in the midst of it. The second half of the book is an analysis of current church culture, decrying our loss of touch with God Almighty and calling us back.

Galli acknowledges that the first half of his book, examining scripture with the themes of Chaos and Grace in mind, will seem odd to many as these are not often taken to be primary themes of scripture. And he was absolutely right; those chapters did feel odd; but they were also interesting. I did not agree with everything Galli had to say about them, nor all of the insights he drew from them, but he succeeding in making me consider and read those texts anew, which is already a good thing. In the second half of Chaos and Grace, Galli is particularly poignant as church culture critic. My own critique here is that he needed to speak more about where the church ought to be and less about where it is. Still, just as in the first half, you cannot read this second half without pausing at points and considering how you do church.

Conclusion: 3.5 Stars. Conditionally Recommended. This was a decent book, with good thoughts, and we certainly need to be reminded of the what our God is like.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr Conrade Yap on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When Mark Galli writes, he makes me ponder. Most importantly, he has the ability to rummage through my comfort zones and to rake up any leaves of comfort and complacency. This book is no different. In "Chaos and Grace," Galli points his guns at our human tendency to want to control our lives. When men tries to control their lives or the lives of other people, they will be tempted to even try to control God. The result is emotional chaos and spiritual pandemonium. Until one learns to submit to the Holy Spirit prompting us to relinquish control to God, we will learn to see grace and to live in freedom to God.

Galli shines in his critique of the controlling disposition of many church people. With his keen understanding on contemporary church life, and deep awareness of the prevailing American context of comfort, security, and control, Galli tries hard to wake the Church up. He does a brilliant job to remind readers not to be too one-dimensional in their Christian living and thinking. Living a Christian life cannot be limited only to the human emotions of good feeling, great preaching, or professional programming. He is spot on about the nature of human addiction to control. Using powerful stories from the Bible, he argues convincingly that God often use 'chaos' to rough us up, in order to bring us back to God. In fact, while many believes that mercy, peace, and blessings continue to be seen as evidence of God's grace, Galli is wise to point us about the other dimension. Chaos can also be seen as a grace of God. (Chaos do not mean anarchy or the messy chaotic lifestyles, but a stirring of complacent hearts) This particular insight is certainly worth the price of the book. God is in control even it seems to be raining 'chaos' or shining grace.

Ratings: 4 stars of 5.
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