2014-05-07

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels

ONE BUCK BOOK: Surprised by Grace   


God's compassion and pardon are utterly shocking in their lavish abundance—that's a lesson God himself pounded into the epic life-story of one man who kept resisting in whatever way he could. Surprised by Grace retells that man's true story—in a gripping presentation that will open readers' eyes wider than ever to God's relentless, purposeful, and inexhaustible grace.

The man's name isn't new to anyone. It's Jonah, the famous Old Testament prophet. This fresh unfolding of his story seeks to recapture the staggering effect it had on those who first encountered it so many centuries ago—the same shock effect that's desperately needed today among those who think they know God's heart far better than they really do.

In a powerful journey through unforgettable events and imagery, Surprised by Grace reveals how relentlessly God pursues rebels (a category that ultimately includes everyone), though he has every right and plenty of reasons to give up on us all.

A man stuck inside the belly of a fish may sound improbable, even ridiculous. But in this retelling of the biblical story of Jonah, pastor-author Tchividjian (Do I Know God?) means serious business. Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, creates a play-by-play version of this ancient tale to put today's audience at the scene. Drawn from a sermon series, the book employs typical sermon fodder--Scripture, descriptions of artistic representations of Jonah, and extended quotes from authors like Herman Melville (Moby-Dick) who have written on the subject. Through these interpretations, the reader discovers Jonah's characteristics-he is self-righteous, prideful, a work-in-progress-contrasted with the attributes of God, who is unwavering, all-powerful, and merciful. One can almost hear the author's voice rising and falling as he compares Jonah's reticence to contemporary human attitudes. The abrupt ending of the biblical tale may leave the impression that this well-loved character is no hero at all. Yet Tchividjian's animated, heartfelt homily will boost readers with the message that God's heroic grace is perfect.

 “Tullian’s masterful retelling of this familiar story will do just as it promises. It will surprise you—shock you even—as you hear the story of Jonah as if for the first time. And it will fill you with awe and wonder at God’s startling grace and his tender heart toward us, his lost and rebellious children. I loved it.”
Sally Lloyd-Jones, author, The Jesus Story-Book Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

“The book of Jonah is more than the story of a prophet who ran from God. It is actually the story of the grace of God that overcomes Jonah’s stubborn rebellion. In this outstanding book Tullian Tchividjian helps us see that there is something of Jonah in all of us and that we stand in need of the same grace of God every day. I was both convicted and encouraged by this book and highly recommend it to every Christian.”
Jerry Bridges, author, The Pursuit of Holiness

“Surprised by Grace is a much-needed reminder that we should never get over the gospel, or try to move beyond it. The grace that saves is the grace that satisfies and empowers. Tullian’s book is gospel-saturated, Christ-exalting, and soul-refreshing.”
Randy Alcorn, author, If God is Good and Heaven

“Twenty years ago Tullian was the wild, rebellious black sheep among Billy Graham’s grandchildren. Today he follows in his grandfather’s steps as a powerful preacher of the cross of Christ. As he retells the Old Testament story of Jonah he shows that while sin reaches far, God’s grace reaches farther. Tullian’s heart to see rebels—as well as cold-hearted Pharisees—transformed by the gospel of grace shines through on every page.”

Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland