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Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace Hardcover – August 25, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
On page 57 Cathleen cites a couple of "grace" examples that especially resonate with me: "Sometimes it's having the guts to rebuild, to take a chance, to follow your nose and your heart rather than your head." "Sometimes grace is finding out that your preconceived notions are dead wrong." "And sometimes it's a bowl of watermelon gazpacho when you were expecting Taco Bell."
Discussing the possibility of following precise recipes for spiritual and religious experience and renewal (there aren't any), Cathleen described herself as "rhubarb pie with pistachio ice cream," making me wonder how to describe myself in food, and maybe how I'd describe some of the people I've met.
Cathleen's book chronicles God's "audacious" grace, as she sometimes styles it; and in its free, elusive, characteristically unanticipated and unexpectedness, Grace is audacious, bold and wild. But just as much, grace often is physically tastable, audible, visible, aromatic and touchable: incarnate and enfleshed; in that case, where can grace lead us? What is our response in the Spirit to the Divine Image in which we've been created?
I predict you'll enjoy this book, you'll recommend it and you'll probably want to read it again!
But I felt like that almost made this book too easy. Reading it felt like reading a loose collection of stories rather than a well put together book. I don't read many collections because I like books to have continuity. I didn't find that in this book. Each chapter was a new beginning.
It feels weird saying something bad about a book concerning grace, but I just felt like this book told a bunch of stories and then labeled the grace within them afterward. Maybe it's something we need to be doing in all of our lives, identifying the grace that covers us all, but I didn't think it made for compelling reading. It read more like a travelogue covering the authors journeys on safari in Africa, where seeing elephants is a gracious moment, than it did a book delving into a theology of grace.
The writer is the religion columnist for the Chicago Sun Times and a blogger I read regularly. Her style, exhibits her own uniqueness as a writer, but could be described as Anne Lamott meets David Sedaris. She is a storyteller above all and the stories of the people and places she encounters, around the world, on her quest to find grace are each unique expressions of finding grace when she least expected it or when she needs it the most. For the author grace is the "lagniappe" of life. This lagniappe, a cajun word to describe that surprise bonus given to customers for good measure, is there for each of us every day.
One thing I especially enjoyed was the idea of "gracespotting" -- looking for example of grace ("unmerited favor") in daily life. If you pay attention, they are everywhere.
I think what really stands out to me, besides the joy and amazing nature of grace itself, is Falsani's humility. She regularly pokes fun at herself as we watch her learn about grace from unexpected sources.
A friend loaned me this book and told me "read chapter 8." After reading the whole book, I bought 3 copies -- one for me and two to give away. I'll probably buy more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading Cathleen Falsani's semi-autobiography with it's self-deprecating humor for the second time in a few years is to fall wonderfully in love--with her, Maury, Cleo and all of... Read morePublished on August 5, 2013 by Bill Albritton
I read the reviews of this book and it seemed like it was one of those that you either loved or hated. Read morePublished on July 11, 2013 by Perdita Taylor Zapata
Good overview of common types of grace. Perhaps not exhaustive.
--I liked chapters 4, 7, 10 & 13
--Lost me in chapters 1 & 15
I became obsessed with Donald Miller's writing and decided I needed to find a new author to expand my religious horizons. Read morePublished on May 29, 2013 by Kelly Cochran
Grace is all around us if we will only pay attention. With wit and wisdom and a deep but quirky faith in God, Falsani describes the people and places that taught her to find Grace... Read morePublished on March 29, 2013 by Cassandra D. Krueger
This is a great book. Short chapters which are written for a comited Christian. I can easily relate to the author and her situatioonPublished on March 22, 2013 by Bill Maslo
Bought this book because I was going to hear her speak. At first I didn't know if I would like it because I seem to disagree with some of her beliefs. Read morePublished on March 22, 2013 by Jane
I felt like I was reading a diary in a way. Each chapter was a new story in her personal life, which were not connected. She also seemed quite liberal in her views. Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by Brown eyes