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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace Hardcover – August 25, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ranging from Chicago to Kenya, New Orleans to Ireland, Big Sky to Graceland, Falsani dons her investigative cap and scouts for grace. This religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times is a charming guide to places and people who reveal "grace when and where it happens." Eschewing technical theological definitions, Falsani opts instead to tell how she has experienced grace. And we are vicarious travelers, seeing grace—"audacious, unwarranted, and unlimited"—through Falsani’s eyes. She marvels at the devotion of young people who crowd to the pope’s funeral and at the astoundingly independent women of Asembo Bay in Kenya. She wrestles with anger at a misogynist Tanzanian tour guide and anger at God when her mother and beloved cat face cancer. We traipse along with the author and eavesdrop on her conversations, both external and internal. The result is a pastiche of images meant collectively to reveal God’s grace. Though some may find the premise contrived, only a fierce cynic could fail to be drawn in to Falsani’s tales and candid reflections.

Review

'Ranging from Chicago to Kenya, New Orleans to Maine, Big Sky to Graceland, [Cathleen] Falsani dons her investigative cap and scouts for grace. This religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times is a charming guide to places and people who reveal 'grace when and where it happens.' Eschewing technical theological definitions, Falsani opts instead to tell how she has experienced grace. And we are vicarious travelers, seeing grace -- 'audacious, unwarranted, and unlimited' -- through Falsani's eyes. She marvels at the devotion of young people who crowd to the pope's funeral and at the astoundingly independent women of Asembo Bay in Kenya. She wrestles with anger at a misogynist Tanzanian tour guide and anger at God when her mother and beloved cat face cancer. We traipse along with the author and eavesdrop on her conversations, both external and internal. The result is a pastiche of images meant collectively to reveal God's grace. Though some may find the premise contrived, only a fierce cynic could fail to be drawn into Falsani's tales and candid reflections.' (Publishers Weekly)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; First Edition edition (August 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031027947X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310279471
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Leah Chang VINE VOICE on October 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If along with most people you've ever wondered what God possibly could do to transform your pitiful attitudes and pathetic lack of alignment with the demands of the commands, this collection of stories from Chicago Sun-Times religion columnist Cathleen Falsani's recent peregrinations will give you hope and keep you keepin' on, since God lovingly reigns with showers of mercy-filled grace, no matter who, no matter what, no matter when.

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!
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Format: Hardcover
I wasn't crazy about this book. I was excited to read it, thinking all the wonderful things I would learn about grace. As a minister, I've heard a lot about grace, and agree strongly that it is everywhere, in everything. God covers us with grace, thanks be to God.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Cathleen Falsani's new book "Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace" is the author's journey around the US, Africa and other places where she experiences grace in places both large and small. The author calls it "gracespotting" and whether on the cobblestone streets of Rome, in the halls of Graceland, driving the rainy roads of post-Katrina Bay St. Louis, trekking through the slums of Nairobi, attending a Passover Seder with the only Rabbi in the state of Montana, or curled up with her cat, Ms Falsani finds grace in the unexpected. Grace that she describes as "the oxygen of religious life."

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a lovely little book, written with the lay reader in mind, but taking an intelligent and educated approach to "grace" in daily life. The author is a professed "born-again" Christian, but do not be put off by labels in this book. Ms. Falsani has a degree in theology and many years experience as a writer on the subject, but this is not a diatribe or a graduate paper or treatise. Ms. Falsani writes with humor (and may one say, grace) about religion, spirituality and events in daily life that give us strength, a feeling of unity with the world, humanity, and the spirit beyond. Speaking as one with a non-doctrinal approach to spirituality and religion, I found the book moving, useful, and inspirational. The writer makes the solid point that religion/spirituality is not a competition. It is a personal experience to help us live more fully in harmony with our world, and to experience those small moments that provide enlightenment and strength to confront the challenges we all encounter. I will read this book again, probably several times, and I am not one easily sold on meditation or gooey "goodness."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable book, very well written and important. Cathleen Falsani is a seasoned journalist with a very enjoyable style. Each chapter is a stand-alone story of some aspect of God's grace. It's not in-your-face religious; in fact, I believe that most of my non-Christian friends will enjoy the book.
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.
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