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Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life Paperback – January 2, 2007
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"Using Scripture, fiction, contemporary and classic movies, and other sources, Zahl demonstrates God's grace as the only hope for humanity, and shows how it can be practiced in common, everyday situations. Recommended."
"Zahl's newest and best book, Grace in Practice, is a fascinating, sometimes brilliant, and deeply pastoral attempt to work out [the] theology of grace as a universal principle for Christian doctrine and life."
Peter J. Gomes
— Harvard University
"Paul Zahl is at it again ? and, as usual, for the good of us all. He has been 'long on grace and short on law' for all of his ministry, and who in these difficult times could want more law and less grace? This is a book for everyday believers ? an act of grace."
— author of America's Battle for God
"Zahl's Grace in Practice cuts right across the patterns of thinking and acting to which Christians have become accustomed. An engaging and passionate book, intensely personal, witty and direct ? and provocative to the core."
J. Ligon Duncan III
— President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
"Paul Zahl is a formidable scholar, an admired colleague, and a courageous churchman, but I especially love Paul Zahl the preacher ? his passion and humor, his power of description and illustration, and, above all, his zeal for grace. When he speaks about law and grace, I'm totally caught up in it ? even when he's beating up on my views! That same enthusiasm comes through in this book. Cascading pop-culture references are flanked with the profoundest of insights. A barrage of illustrations brings home Zahl's message. Martin Luther has his spokesman. In Grace in Practice, Zahl sets out a theology of the reality, experience, and expression of grace in the Christian life ? and then doesn't mind upsetting your applecart as he applies it specifically to just about everything."
From the Back Cover
"Grace in Practice" is a challenging call to live life under grace -- a concept most Christians secretly have trouble with. Paul Zahl pulls no punches, contending that no matter how often we talk about salvation by grace, in our can-do society we often cling instead to a righteousness of works. Asserting throughout that grace always trumps both law and church, Zahl illuminates an expansive view of grace in everything, extending the good news of grace to all creation. Conversationally written and filled with fascinating insights, "Grace in Practice" will reward any Christian who seeks to understand the full measure of Gods grace and the total freedom it offers.
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Top customer reviews
However, after demonstrating such profound thoughts about grace, Zahl drives off the reservation and declares that we should do away with things like prisons and the military because they do not "jive" with grace. Such thinking though is a missaplication of grace and completely neglects Romans 13.
The cross didnt nullify the Law or justice, it rather established it. The cross showed us us that God must punish sin to the full extent it deserves. Therefore the cross doesnt nullfiy judgment and justice, it rather establishes it. Not punishing criminals not only is ungracious, but also endangers the lives of innocent people who should be protected by those in power.
Get the book. Read it. Zahl is a profound thinker. But like any profound thinker, when he puts the pedal to the medal, floors it, and leaves the city limits of Scripture, its time to open the door and bail before you drive over the cliff with him.
Paul Zahl's book, "Grace in Practice," breathes fresh air into the lungs of any burned-out (or soon to be burned out) Christian. Tossing out the tired, moralistic approaches to Christianity that are popular but which bury the true message of the faith (the Vox Ipsissimi Christianismi), Zahl goes back to the basics of the Christian Gospel--namely, Christ's unmeritted, one-way love to sinners (including Christian sinners).
Zahl stresses the early Reformational insights of distinguishing Law and Gospel, Low Anthropology and High Christology, Judgment and Love. His understanding (which is not his alone, but is a largely-forgotten treasure shared by Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Cranmer) that Grace actually produces what the Law commands is life-changing.
Anyone, especially any clergy person who is in need of the refreshing truth of God's Grace, which trumps all other messages, needs to look no further than "Grace in Practice." This book, which concretizes God's grace in all aspects of life (and is chuck-full of great movie quotes!) will hopefully shake-up and shake-off the toxic and widespread moralism of current American Christianity.