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The Grace and Truth Paradox: Responding with Christlike Balance (LifeChange Books) [Kindle Edition]

Randy Alcorn
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.99
Kindle Price: $9.40
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Christians trying to model their lives after Jesus may find that He gets buried under lists, rules, and formulas. Now bestselling author Randy Alcorn offers a simple two-point checklist for Christlikeness based on John 1:14. The test consists of balancing grace and truth, equally and unapologetically. Grace without truth deceives people, and ceases to be grace. Truth without grace crushes people, and ceases to be truth. Alcorn shows the reader how to show the world Jesus -- offering grace instead of the world's apathy and tolerance, offering truth instead of the world's relativism and deception.

Grace or Truth…or Both?

Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and crushing legalism.

Grace without truth breeds deception and moral compromise.

Is it possible to embrace both in balance?

Jesus did.

Randy Alcorn offers a simple yet profound two-point checklist of Christlikeness. “In the end,” says Alcorn, “we don’t need grace or truth. We need grace and truth. And for people to see Jesus in us, they must see both.”

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hate the sin but love the sinner is the gist of the paradox explored in this slender point-of-purchase book by minister Alcorn. The author of Deadline draws on his experiences of getting "proabortion" activists, unbelieving academics and his "resistant" father to see the light to argue that Christians must display grace-a spirit of humility, love and inclusion-while also insisting on the truth of Christian doctrine. Truth without grace, he asserts, yields a self-righteous Pharisaism, while grace without truth leads to "moral indifference" and a dilution of Christ's message. Alcorn writes in a contemporary idiom, likening grace and truth to a binary star system or the twin strands of the DNA double helix. But his is a traditional evangelical outlook that combines Biblical literalism, hell-fire and a deep acknowledgment of personal sin. Alcorn registers his fundamentalist views on such topics as relativism on campus, the fallacy of Darwinism and Oprah Winfrey's "have-it-your-way designer religion." But he also chides Christians for their holier-than-thou attitudes ("Jesus," he warrants, "would preach five sermons against self-righteous churches for every one against taverns") and compares himself with evil-doers ("I am Dahmer. I am Mao") in attesting to the fallen state of all humanity and their dependence on God's unmerited grace for salvation. Firm but forbearing, Alcorn's tract is a dose of old-time religion in a smooth modern formulation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Randy Alcorn delivers his own work with a skill that sounds effortless. He discusses the differences between grace and truth, and why each is necessary to the other. Using modern stories to illustrate his points, he says that if Christians model Christlike behavior, their lives will reflect both truth and grace. Narrating with careful pacing and judicious timing, Alcorn states that grace is the cornerstone of salvation. The truth delivered without grace, he believes, leads to self-righteousness, and grace without truth breeds deception and moral compromise. A balance is needed. This is an audiobook to savor and to listen to time and time again." 
G.D.W.  © AudioFile Portland, Maine

Product Details

  • File Size: 1114 KB
  • Print Length: 98 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1590520653
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (June 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002GKGB0K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Book September 9, 2003
Randy Alcorn really gives you a great understanding of what it's like to be a "balanced" Christian. Not just full of Grace at the expense of Truth or vice versa but that it takes dependence on the Holy Spirit to provide discernment at that moment of decision to dispense truth and/or grace as required.
Mr. Alcorn really cut to the heart of the matter in letting us know that being a Christian means dispensing Truth and Grace in the relativistic society that we live in.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful but Brief!!! January 26, 2005
Randy Alcorn has written a small treatise on grace and truth, and while using Scripture and personal examples, he appeals to Christians to pursue balance between the both. In one chapter after another, he focuses first on grace and then truth, and contends that the balanced Christian life must have both, and with a truth-centered Christianity, one runs the risk of being legalistic, but in a grace-centered Christianity, one also runs the risk of being overly nice, with the truth taking a back seat.

It is a nicely woven theme, and can be read in one sitting, although the reader might want to chew on one chapter at a time. A powerful treatise, though, and it's right to the point!!

Highly recommended!!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book does a good job of discussing the balance between Grace and Truth. As another reviewer pointed out, Truth can appear to be "Law" in this book, or maybe Grace is Truth. The fact is that Jesus repeatedly pleaded with His apostles to keep His commandments (Matt 28:20, MK 12:30, John 15:12) and He also said:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34)
"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet,"and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself. "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom 13:8)
Jesus said "If you love Me you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). (A good summary of love is 1 Cor 13:1-13)
This cannot be overlooked. Grace is never an excuse to sin. That is why this book really useful. It helps show the line between grace and truth. Jesus didn't come to Jerusalem and preach only grace. If it were that simple, He wouldn't have condemned the scribes and Pharisees. They had no love in them. We are still commanded to love:
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. (Gal 5:13)
This book gives various circumstances were people (some christians and some non-christians) have needed to be reached in gentleness and love. Sometimes this is explaining the Truth about the law, so that grace can be preached:
What shall we say, then?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise book with helpful insights February 6, 2006
By Patrick
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the second book I've read from Mr. Alcorn, the first being The Treasure Principle, and he has quickly become one of my favorite authors. His writing is very concise and piercing. The compactness of his writing fits perfectly to the LifeChange Books produced by the Multonomah publishing house, spanning less than 100 pages. That amount also happens to be the average mental capacity of my brain.

As the title suggests, Mr. Alcorn explains the tension and apparent contradiction between Grace and Truth. More importantly, he suggests that many Christians live their lives marked either by Truth-only (grace-less, legalistic) or by Grace-only (lack of essential truth, fearful of truth) qualities. Instead the Christian life is marked by both Grace and Truth, not one or the other. He explains how Christ in His incarnation was revealed to be the One who was full of Grace and Truth. He illustrates this using John 2 with the first miracle of Jesus when He turns water into wine. Alcorn asks why was Christ's first miracle turning water into wine? He claims that it was simply to show grace by preventing the host of the wedding from being embarassed for running out of wine - allowing the people to enjoy themselves at the party. But immediately following, Jesus offers truth when he whips those who have turned His Father's house into a house of merchandise. This illustration displays the balance that Jesus had when he walked this earth. He epitomized Grace and Truth in all that He did.

I appreciate his pithy introductions especially when defining What is Truth in chapter 4. He explains that Truth is like the guardrails in life that protect us and that it hedges us in for our own good. However in order for Truth to be able to protect us, it must produce moral decisions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
What's the problem with most Christians today? Either they're gung-ho on Truth or they're gung-ho on Grace. What was wrong with the religious Jews of Jesus' day? Either they were gung-ho on Truth (the Pharisees) or they were gung-ho on Grace (the Sadducees). But John 1:14,17 says that Jesus Christ was full of Grace AND Truth. You can't have one without the other and be like Christ.

Randy Alcorn does a masterful job at fleshing out what is probably the biggest problem with the church today - why we're not more like Jesus - and he does so with the smallest number of words (only 92 pages) in the smallest amount of space (only 6.5" x 4.75" size book). It doesn't take long to read, but there's enough meat there to meditate on for an entire year, and to spend the rest of your life trying to master.

But it's really pretty simple: Grace + Truth = Christ-like love. If it's so simple, how come we keep missing it? Using examples from scripture, his own ministry, and popular as well as church culture, Randy examines this question and helps us come up with an answer that works. My favorite part of the book is his discussion of the song "Amazing Grace" - where it came from (a former slave trader) and the impact it's had on countless lives (especially blacks).

This book will have an impact on your life as well. It's small enough not to intimidate yet loaded enough to satisfy even the most voracious spiritual appetite. Plus, it's inexpensive enough to make a perfect gift. This is one book that ought to be on every Christian's bookshelf, and its message needs to be in every Christian heart.

Waitsel Smith
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for balanced Christian outlook
Short and clear on emphasis for evangelical emphasis. Many denominations are leaning too far on Grace and need the equally necessary ingredient of Truth.
Published 29 days ago by V.Birch Rambo
5.0 out of 5 stars Best explanation of Grace and Truth
The Book presents the Balance of truth and grace in clear straightforward language. This book is for doers, not thinkers.
Published 2 months ago by Charles P. Marshall Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars It's really NOT a Paradox
Grace and Truth, together, straight from the Word of GOD. When you realize that they have to be synonymous, it really isn't a 'paradox' anymore. Read more
Published 2 months ago by tdaniels10
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth unvarnished!
Alcorn does not sugarcoat either concept! This is a very concise, insightful work which should be beneficial for Christians to absorb!
Published 2 months ago by Linda Elkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Teriffic Book
This book is a tiny, easy-to-read book full of practical wisdom and insight and it provided answers to questions I think every believers have asked themselves at some point about... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Emme
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ for ALL Christians
This book explains beautifully how to answer in TRUTH and LOVE, when people say: "I do not believe a loving God would send anyone to hell. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dozenelk
5.0 out of 5 stars Alcorn shows the balance between god's unwavering perfection and His...
A small book with good insights that presents the God of absolute truth and purity reaching down in love to a helpless and undeserving humanity with the offer of salvation through... Read more
Published 4 months ago by KenB
5.0 out of 5 stars worth reading
Many people's past can cause the grace and truth in life to become unbalanced. This is a concise book on the subject that would benefit us all, and interesting to read.
Published 5 months ago by Jeanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book for quick study
This book didn't cover much but it conveyed its points clearly. It's an hour read for someone who likes to read. Read more
Published 6 months ago by B. Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for all times
This book needs to be in every Christian's library and needs to be read several times a year. I give it away all the time.
Published 7 months ago by Jennifer Waddell
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More About the Author

Randy Alcorn is an author and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching principles of God's Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. His ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly time, money, possessions and opportunities to invest in need-meeting ministries that count for eternity. He accomplishes this by analyzing, teaching, and applying the biblical truth.

Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has an MA degree in Biblical Studies from Multnomah University and an Honorary Doctorate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon and has taught on the adjunct faculties of both.

A New York Times bestselling author, Randy has written more than forty books, including Courageous, Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home. His books in print exceed seven million and have been translated into over fifty languages. Randy has written for many magazines including EPM's issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives. He is active daily on Facebook and Twitter, has been a guest on more than 700 radio, television and online programs including Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, The Bible Answer Man, and The Resurgence.

Randy resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and are the proud grandparents of five grandsons. Randy enjoys hanging out with his family, biking, tennis, research, and reading.

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