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Outrageous Mercy: Rediscover the Radical Nature of Christianity Paperback – February, 2004


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (February 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801064929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801064920
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,721,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What does the cross symbolize? Americans who are inundated by constant images of the cross in jewelry, roadside shrines, the Red Cross symbol and church buildings may have only a superficial understanding of the cross's meaning, warns Farley, an evangelical pastor. He agrees with Martin Luther that the cross alone is the sum of Christian theology and issues a jeremiad of sorts against the ways our culture has cheapened it: "Familiarity breeds contempt," he cautions. Farley can adopt a stern tone—after all, he says he first understood the cross himself after reading the works of Jonathan Edwards. Still, he speaks the truth in love and humility; when he lashes out against "worldly Christians," for example, he has the grace to tell us stories about when he has fallen into that category himself. Farley is a strong writer with a memorable, hard-hitting message.
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Review

"Farley has given us a beautiful book that 'lifts high the cross' and thus imparts mercy and grace for the Christian life. Outrageous Mercy is a book to read and reread." --R. Kent Hughes, senior pastor emeritus of College Church, Wheaton

"Bill Farley has created a winsome reminder of how essential, radical, and mind-blowingly merciful the gospel actually is." --Carolyn McCulley, author, media specialist for Sovereign Grace Ministries

"Bill Farley has created a winsome reminder of how essential, radical, and mind-blowingly merciful the gospel actually is." --Carolyn McCulley, author, media specialist for Sovereign Grace Ministries --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Martin Luther got it right when he said, "No theology is genuinely Christian which does not arise from and focus on the cross." The cross of Christ is the very center point of the Christian faith; indeed, it is the very focal point of all of history. No event will or can be more significant than this. Little wonder, then, that so many books have been written that teach the cross, reflect on the cross, draw the Christian's gaze to the cross.

In Outrageous Mercy: Rediscovering the Radical Nature of the Cross William Farley writes, "The cross teaches us everything we need to know about life, death, God, humanity, eternity, and host of other issues." And it does so in a unique way. "The cross is God's `show, don't tell.' Systematic theologies catalog and systematize the Bible's doctrines, and their work is important--but they `tell' us the truth. The cross shows us." The cross displays God's mercy and grace and justice and does so with startling clarity. It does the Christian well to turn continually to the cross, to devote time to gazing upon it, searching out its deepest meanings. "There is nothing deeper. It is a bottomless well, a fountain of vibrant truth, a pinnacle of wisdom and knowledge. In it lie the depths of the mysteries of God. The first sign of spiritual maturity is when one increasingly thinks about, ponders, marvels, and wonders at the mystery of the cross."

"The cross has two dimensions. It is something God has done for us, but it is also a revelation of vital truths communicated to us." Books such as John Stott's The Cross of Christ and, a personal favorite, The Cross He Bore by Frederick Leahy focus on the former. In Outrageous Mercy, William Farley chooses a different path and focuses on the latter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark C. Tubbs on August 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ronald Reagan once said that he wasn't a great communicator, but that he communicated great ideas. I think Bill Farley would take this same stance. I found this book undeservedly dumped in a bargain bin - more to do with that particular bookstore's exorbitant prices than anything - and have raved about it ever since. "The Cross-Centered Life" by C.J. Mahaney used to occupy prime real estate on my bookshelf, but now "Outrageous Mercy" is Number One. Let me explain why:
Like Mr. Farley, who only really came to appreciate the cross of Christ in his forties, it has only been in the last three years that the cross has become so dear to me. In Mr. Farley's words, "the Cross teaches us everything we need to know about life, death, God, humanity, eternity, and a host of other issues." I can testify to this, having been waylaid by prophecy, OT tabernacle, worship styles, Christian environmentalism and ecumenism, all in an attempt to find the heart of Christianity - and all the while I was overlooking the cross.
Bill Farley counsels us not to overlook the cross, but to take it to heart and make it the defining reality of our lives. His advice to church leaders is to make the cross central to your church; your perspective on everything else will flow from it. Forgive this pun, but Mr. Farley is anything but a dry writer; he is 'whet' - he will whet your appetite to delve deeper and deeper into the cross of our Savior.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Du Bois John on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Farley writes in a style that you can give to any member of your congregation for a direct challenge and it will not be over their head. I have given this book to so many people to read I have lost count. It stopped me dead in the tracks of cold orthodoxy and caused me to turn back to the cross. I would give six stars but not able to.
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More About the Author

William Farley (Bill) is the Pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship, a church he planted in 2002 in Spokane, Washington. He has been married to his best friend, Judy, since 1971. He has five children and twenty-one grandchildren.

Bill spent 25 years in the business world before turning to full time pastoral ministry and writing. He has been heavily influenced by Jonathan Edwards, the seventeenth century Puritans and many contemporary authors, such as John Piper, Ian Murray, Jerry Bridges, Rodney Stark, Mark Noll, RC Sproul and others. Bill's writing has appeared in a number of publications including Reformation 21, The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Enrichment Journal, Discipleship Journal and Focus on the Family. His first love is preaching God's Word and pastoring. He also enjoys traveling around the US lecturing on topics discussed in his books. For recreation he likes bicycling, spending time with his family and reading history and related subjects. Charles Murray, Paul Johnson and Barbara Tuckman are some of his favoite authors. You can contact Bill at bill@gcfonline.org

You can also view his blog at www.williamfarley.blogspot.com

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