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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief

Thomas Nelson The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief

Is life better where authentic Christianity flourishes? Secularists and socialists say "no." But apologist Taunton has spent his career refuting their thinking. His remarkable memoir shares the story of how a 9-year-old Ukrainian orphan---his adopted daughter, Sasha---became a real-life example of the transforming power of grace to believers, atheists---and nations! Includes discussion guide. 254 pages, softcover from Nelson.
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Customer Reviews for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Review 1 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

the grace effect

Date:January 12, 2013
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myrtia
Gender:female
This is the true story of the adoption of a Ukranian orphan little girl by an American (the author) and his famiy who are of christian beliefs. The book chronicles the Amerian family's trips to Ukrainia until the paperwork is finally done and they can take their new daughter back home with them.
It explores the shortcomings of the country, Unkrainia, concerning the courts, the orphanage, even the hotels. Now all of this may be realistic, or real enough in some cases, but the thing is, the book does not simply describe reality in this country. It compares the country to America. Or, more accurately, to the author's experience of America. It attempts to explain why, dut to the fact that Americans are largely of christian beliefs, their country is much better than a European country ridden by atheistic beliefs.
While I don't for a minute question the charity and importance of what the Tauntons did by adopting this wonderful little girl, I very strongly disagree with the message of this book.
It is whiny about the conditions in Ukrainia, and I am sorry, but this is in no way true christian spirit.
And on top of that a great amount of arrogance comes out on the part of the author, concerning his country, his family, even himself.
The grace effect, my dear Mr Taunton, is not the fact that America is a more compassionate country than Ukrainia. The grace effect is not that you, as an American, chose to show mercy to an orphan.
Every country is evil although not in the same way, because human beings are evil.
America destroys people as effectively as Ukrainia, let me tell you that, or England or China or Greece. It is people that lack grace, not countries.
And its source, the source of grace, is a person, not a place, not a civilization.
It is Jesus Christ who chose to give His life for us, whether we American or European or anything else.
I do understand what he wants to say in this book, I do realize the advantages of growing up in a country inbred with christian values as opposed to gorwing up in atheism. But that alone cannot save you. That alone cannot change the world. That alone is not the grace effect.
God is.
I found none of the above message in this book.
If the author had let his actions speak for themselves, this might have been a decent book.
The story is very touching actually, especially when it comes to the author's three sons.
But the grace effect of Christianity, as stated at the beginning of this book, correctly, I may add, should not have been displayed in the "americanity" of the author but rather in his own christianity.
Rating: 2/5
I received this book from Booksneeze.
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Review 2 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

great book

Date:December 10, 2012
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junnelaranas
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
"The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief" The Grace Effect, by Larry Taunton, will change your mind. Hitchens would've caused me to struggle to get through the book. As it was, the chapters on the history of the Ukraine were difficult.It is a great story and brings up a lot of questions about society as well as the injustices in society and especially in the realm of adoption. It is a great story and brings up a lot of questions about society as well as the injustices in society and especially in the realm of adoption.The Grace Effect, Taunton provides many excellent discussion starters with which to engage those the reader may encounter who question the validity of the Christian faith or who are searching for an understanding of grace. I feel like I have learned a lot and am more informed than before on atheism and socialism.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
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Review 3 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

well written

Date:August 30, 2012
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Archie Isib
Location:Ph
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Grace--its the gift we dont deserve and the love that we cant believe. 'Andy Stanley'
I was amazed how the author came to the book, I mean, he not just gives some insights ideas about grace but he knows and lives the grace of God that change his life...
If you cuold read "The Grace Effect" i promise you this will become one of your favorite book, prepare to change through grace of God--thats no empty promise.
In todays were most corrupt and cranky atheist exist, it very important to be equiped with the grace of God--read this book! I had to understand the grace of God for me to share that given grace and experiece that grace to others.
This book is highly recommended book to christians, not just christians but to atheist as well.
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Review 4 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book

Date:July 5, 2012
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Logan
Location:New Zealand
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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Larry Taunton essentially sets out to show the need people have for God's grace at a societal level. By telling the story of his adoption of a Ukrainian orphan he explores the lasting effects of socialist/communist rule in the Ukraine. These political philosophies are shaped by an atheistic world-view, that is, God is not supreme but the State is! Removing God from the culture has led to a really disastrous and corrupt society.
Taunton's argument is centred on the point that society needs Christ-like Christians full of God's grace in order to function well. Fair enough. This is well written and the personal story of the adoption highlights the point very well.
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Review 5 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

How the power of one life can make a change

Date:March 8, 2012
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mojo
Location:Texas
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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Exodus 22:22-24 (CEB) Don’t treat any widow or orphan badly. If you do treat them badly and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I’ll hear their cry. I’ll be furious, and I’ll kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows, and your children will be orphans.
This verse is from the Hebrew law code. God warned his people not to treat the foreigner unfairly, each one had a responsibility to protect those that could not protect themselves. God reminded his people, “You were once slaves…. you once lived in darkness.” Which raises the question, who are the strangers in our own world? Who are the immigrants? Who are the refugees? How can we as a nation continue to be sensitive to those who struggle?
Larry Alex Taunton is the founder and executive director of the Fixed Point Foundation which is an organization that seeks new and innovative ways to defend and proclaim the Gospel and to prepare Christians to do the same.
The Grace Effect is a powerful narrative that really tells two stories at the same time. The first is the heartwarming story of an American family that tries to adopt a 10 year old Ukrainian girl named Sasha. Throughout the book the author repeatedly brings you into both humerus and frustrating stories about the adoptive process as well as comparing side by side the differences between American and Soviet countries.
The book is also about the New brand of Atheism and how it is growing in America. And so the premise of the book becomes brilliant as Taunton shows you what a country without Christ looks like in the Ukranian story, all the while showing the “possible road ahead” for America.
Taunton’s voice is both direct and humerus, an easy read no matter what your style. The book is filled with pictures as well as many inspirational quotes from literature and television. Highly recommended.
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Review 6 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 7, 2012
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twelsh3
Location:Eden Prairie, MN
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
With all the forces trying to push God out of the United States and our culture, I found it incredibly intriguing to read this book and see what a culture looks like when that exact thing happens. It's frightening and very sad. The beautiful piece was to see what happens when God restores those that have lived in a society that has turned away from God.
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Review 7 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Powerful examples of active grace in our world

Date:January 23, 2012
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MrLbs
Location:Atlanta, GA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Although it was hard to get into the book with the heavier discussion at the beginning, the contrast made great sense between cultures and situations encountered by all parties.
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Review 8 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 9, 2012
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lois wetzel
Location:north dakota
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Excellent thought-provoking book very well written.
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Review 9 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

God, adoption and the impact on the child

Date:December 31, 2011
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anniecannie
Location:Ontario, Canada
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I received a copy of THE GRACE EFFECT: HOW THE POWER OF ONE LIFE CAN REVERSE THE CORRUPTION OF UNBELIEF by Larry Alex Taunton from Thomas Nelson, via <a href="http://booksneeze.com/">BookSneeze</a>. As soon as I looked over the back cover, I was excited to start reading. The author, Larry Taunton, meets Sasha, an Ukrainian orphan. Atheistic theorists had shaped her, but with his guidance, she embraces God through the power of grace.
The Taunton’s endured many delays, mostly due to corruption, in their efforts to adopt Sasha. Naturally, they wanted to bring Sasha, whom they had chosen to join their family, home as quickly as possible. They wanted to give her love, safety, identity, education, and so much more that she wasn’t receiving in Orphange 17 (which is reputed to be one of the worst in Ukraine). At Orphanage 17, the children lived (and continue to live) like animals in a concrete prison. In fact, Sasha, who had always lived in an orphanage had no comprehension of what constitutes a “family.” Parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins – these are all concepts with which Sasha simply has no frame of reference.
As an entertaining and insightful read, I highly recommend this book if you are interested in seeing how much God’s grace helped affect a person who lived in an atheistic, godless environment. It’s powerful, riveting, and inspiring.
I did have a hard time finishing this book as it seemed very long for such a short book. Truth be told I really didn't dedicate a lot of time to finishing it in one sitting as I do most books. The beginning was hard to get into but as the I went along the book captured me and I really enjoyed the read.
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Review 10 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Larry Taunton is the Executive Director of Fixed P

Date:December 14, 2011
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PBJones
Location:Edmonton, Alberta
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Will Christianity make a difference in our culture and society in 2012?
This question is not asked in “The Grace Effect,” but it is answered. It is answered loud and clear.
Taunton is the Executive Director of Fixed Point Foundation – an initiative dedicated to promoting and defending Christianity. He opens the book with a story about his experiences with Christopher Hitchens, author of “God is Not Great.” Taunton had been hosting Hitchens at debates across the US. After one such debate Hitchens challenged Taunton with a question about what Christianity has done for society, lately. Taunton admitted the challenge went unmet until he and his family travelled to the Ukraine to adopt an orphan, named Sasha.
The bulk of the book chronicles the Taunton family’s experiences in adopting Sasha – a 12 year old special needs Ukrainian child who was also HIV positive. Tuanton is scathing in his criticism of the Ukrainian government. He says, “…we encountered a criminal passive indifference where children were treated like any other commodity, and if you wanted a child you would have to pay.” p.212 He defends his perspective on the Ukraine by suggesting that many people with good experiences in the Ukraine did not have to deal with the government on the specifics of adoption. “We were bargaining with the government for the life of a child…how does a society arrive at a place where it not only tolerates such a system but also incubates and nourishes it, callously neglecting its elderly, sick and orphaned?” Taunton suggests only a society bankrupt of grace would act this way. “In my search for meaningful examples of common grace the Lord opened my eyes to a world where it was all but absent. Here was a life not gentled by Christian influence, but a life made immeasurably harsher without it.” p. 214
Their choice to adopt Sasha actually provided a response to Hitchen’s earlier challenge. In adopting Sasha they saw firsthand the effects of common grace. They wanted Sasha, when no one else did, just like God wanted us when we were still sinners. That’s grace. The Tauntons provided her with nourishing food, a warm bed, a good education, the support of a church family, and unconditional love.
The story comes full circle in the final chapter when Taunton introduces Hitchens to Sasha. She had been in America for a year. She had grown, had become much healthier and was remarkably gracious in light of her past. Her life was a testimony to the grace of the gospel.
Will Christianity make a difference in 2012? As long as grace is in effect, Christianity will provide the best chance for dignity, respect, value and purpose in individuals, communities and governments.
I was given a copy of the book to review by Booksneeze.
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Review 11 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Great Real Life Example of Common Grace

Date:December 14, 2011
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4himCAMPer
Location:Ramsey, MN
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Larry writes about the effects of common grace through the story of adopting his Ukrainian daughter Sasha and the process that adoption entailed. He explains grace by comparing and contrasting the general cultures of the US and Ukraine based on the religious overtones of each country. The US is based on a strong Christian influence while the Ukraine, even though it did have a Christian church before communism, is based off the socialists atheism. Larry even brings in discussions he has had with renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens including a public debate that they were apart of.
The Tauntons’ adventure in adopting Sasha and the process in which it came about does explain common grace fairly well and does keep it interesting. Grace is not mentioned very much in the book, but it is explained very well even when it is not mentioned. The illustration of the international adoption process does explain grace or, in the case of Ukrainian culture, lack of grace effectively. Throughout his discussions with Hitchens and other atheists and the process of adopting Sasha, Larry made his faith and the faith of his family very clear. He understood how the system worked and knew when he had to give in to the system and when he did not have to. There is always an understanding of love, compassion, and grace even when there was frustration with how the Ukrainian government worked. The book is captivating and is good for anyone who wants a good real world example of how common grace works and what it looks like. The reader does not need to be a theologian or other type of intellectual to understand common grace.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 FCR, Part 255.
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Review 12 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Powerful read

Date:December 14, 2011
Customer Avatar
Wendy
The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief by Larry Alex Taunton piqued my curiosity from the minute I read the back cover blurb. I read it during a two day road trip and found myself reading many paragraphs aloud to my husband.
Taunton’s impressionable and intellectual exploration of the impact an atheist society can have on its people stirred me and prompted me to rouse numerous related conversations.
Throughout the book, I remained engrossed in Taunton’s experience adopting a young Ukrainian girl from an orphanage that didn’t even provide children with toilet paper. Aching with compassion for Sasha, I found myself rooting for the ten-year-old, longing for her to be lovingly cared for and taken away from her current surroundings.
Taunton tackled potentially sensitive subject matter in an intriguing and often humorous way, detailing his personal adoption story, as well as Ukraine’s convoluted corrupt history, in a conjoined, and at times jolting back and forth portrayal.
The injection of grace through authentic Christian living is what appealed most to me in The Grace Effect.
I valued how as an avid debater and Christian apologist, Taunton concluded what I’ve all too often discovered in my own faith—that personal life change is the most radical, grace-filled, and merciful way to experience the impression of God. What a joy to watch as that kind of impression leaves its mark on others.
You know what I really hope? I hope someday I get to read about this story from Sasha’s perspective.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this honest review
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Review 13 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A Loving story

Date:December 5, 2011
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Simka
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This book is about a couple who decide to adopt a young ten-year old girl named Sasha when their sons were all teenagers. What they did not plan for was the many difficulties from the authorities that they were working with. This book looks at the social and economical issues between the Soviet and America, and the concept of materialism through a religious perspective. This book is a loving and heartwarming novel that I'm sure many could enjoy. I found the book very interesting and touching. Using humor, intelligence and wit, this book properly describes what most of us, in a fast paced society, take for granted and miss. This is Sasha's story of her hope and irreplaceable charm. This book will make you wish you had actually met her character in real life. Overall, a nice read; very quick (you can read it in one sitting-it's that good). I would recommend this to my friends.
*I received a free copy of this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.
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Review 14 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 2, 2011
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kelisni
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Larry Alex Taunton is a great writer. This book was the story of how he and his wife/family adopted Sasha from the Ukraine. In doing so, their family saw how grace effected someone who had previously lived without it. What a difference it makes in someone's life! He begins the book out by sharing a conversation he had with a fellow believer and a very well known atheist. He makes a point that atheists don't realize the effect that Christians have on their lives. This country that we live in is grounded on Christian faith principles, not atheism. Taunton wraps up The Grace Effect in the prologue by pointing out the fact that his atheist friend has had the opportunity to observe what effect grace has on a person's life that has been devoid of it.
I loved the sarcasm that Taunton uses in his writing. That may be due to the fact that I'm a very sarcastic person, so I could appreciate a lot of what he was thinking. My eyes were open to the corrupt country that the Ukraine is. My heart bleeds for the children over there. I found myself in tears in several portions of this book wishing I could do something, yet feeling the helplessness that Taunton and his wife felt while they were dealing with the Ukranian government and just the people in general.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishers.
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Review 15 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An amazing history and adoption story.

Date:December 1, 2011
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Adoption Mama
Location:Tampa, Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2011
Book Review -The Grace Effect
Five Stars.
That's what I'd give The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton. This is a great read that takes you down the Taunton family's journey to adoption from Ukraine. But it is not your normal adoption story. The author unravels grace as seen in a whole new way. His experience in a country that has denounced the Christian faith in any form except religiosity drove him to see grace in a whole new way.
As the family journeyed to the Ukraine to adopt their darling daughter, Sasha, must was learned of the history of Russia. Mr. Taunton gives brief history lessons in his book while documenting the atrocities that go on in governments that WILL not acknowledge God. God without grace is laws, rules and evil. It is works based.
As you read this book you will become keenly aware of the many blessings America still has, (though I don't know for how long), because there was a foundation based on Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Russia is full of bribery, embezzlement and deceit, all in the name of getting ahead. The orphan, widow and mentally or physically challenged are thrown to the side, if not abused.
Grace does an amazing thing in one's life. God's grace does even more.
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Review 16 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Common Grace

Date:November 30, 2011
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luv2readjen
Location:Lisle, IL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
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Max Lucado once said that “Grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A whitewater, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you.” That, in essence, is the core theme of Larry’s book. Because you can’t be drenched without coming away wet – and that is indeed similar to the impact of grace. Experiencing grace leaves you different.
Comparing a graceless society to ours through the story of his adoption experience, Larry provides an incredible window into the immensity of what grace is. In the Ukraine, they expect nothing other than for someone in authority to wield power with no measure of compassion. They have no understanding of what it means to offer something for nothing. Every man for himself, and if you can punch somebody else on the way up, all the better.
Imagine being an orphan in that type of society. Living in a place that has no moral compunction to see to your welfare, and is in fact aggravated and annoyed by the fact that it must do so. This is where Larry takes us: an orphanage where the standard of care is less than the bare minimum. By relating his family’s experience, he opens the door to a place where grace is rare.
What is interesting is that here, where grace is generally the norm, those who benefit from it don’t always recognize its power. This is why a story of a place with no grace is important – to show those of us who spend our days in a generous pool of it what a drought looks like. When we start to realize just how much of a tremendous gift the grace that we enjoy is, then we can begin to understand just how horrific it is to live without it.
At a debate, Larry pointed out that the biggest difference between Christianity and other religions and for that matter, atheism, is that grace. Grace changes our perspective, it turns our hearts out and pulls our focus away from selfish meaninglessness to purposeful charity. In this book, Larry skillfully and subtly gives every believer the challenge – give the grace you take for granted away. It will shock and bless others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 17 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A compelling story

Date:November 29, 2011
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jnjdet
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
First of all, I thought it was a great book and I loved reading Sascha's story. I was drawn into the emotions of what it must have been like to go through the frustrations of dealing with such a corrupt country. I appreciated the history provided to better understand where Russia and the Ukraine are coming from and it truly is a sad story. I though Mr. Taunton did a great job showing us how grace can change people. At some points I was having trouble connecting the two but separately I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the interaction between him and Christopher Hitchens as well as the viewpoints of other athiests around the world. I think this story is well worth the read.
I received this book free from booksneeze.com in exchange for my review
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Review 18 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Thought Provoking

Date:November 28, 2011
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Fogleman Forerunner
Location:Oklahoma
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
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The Grace Effect is a two-fold book about a debate between a view that the world would be better off without religion and a view that True Judeo-Christianity has been the main influence in all that is good in the world. The book is also about a little girl raised to the age of 10 by one world view and adopted into grace by the other.
This book wasn't what I expected it to be. I don't really know what I expected. Grace is an illusive concept. Larry Taunton gave me a totally different perspective of Grace. It's a thought-provoking book. The problems this family went through to bring home a little girl is an expression of amazing love. I chose to take a chance on a nine month pregnancy and potential bed-rest, c-section, and premature baby... These people chose to adopt a child from the other side of the world, through amazing odds and difficulties, simply because they fell in love with her. There is so much more to the story. I definitely suggest reading this book. It's an amazing story, amazing two stories in one. Be ready to take some time to reflect on your life and the influences that have made it the way it is, and the unfortunate influences that are changing it for the worst...
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 19 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Unexpected Vulnerability... a Breath of Fresh Air

Date:November 26, 2011
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mikejencostanzo
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Author Larry Taunton started out "The Grace Effect" by promising his readers that he would write for the layperson, rather than making his book an elite, academic piece. Taunton not only made good on his promise, but also did it with a warmth and vulnerability that I did not expect to come from a renowned historian & Christian apologist.
Taunton essentially weaves two seemingly unrelated plots into a fascinating & meaningful story. We follow his developing friendship with atheist apologist Christopher Hitchens, and join the Taunton family on their harrowing journey to adopt a little girl from Ukraine.
Soon, threads from the two plots begin to interconnect, as we learn that the Ukraine government was intentionally founded on atheist principles. Taunton vividly demonstrates the ineptitude & corruption that develops from such a religious/political foundation, and convincingly argues that the relative comfort & security (such as we experience in the States, for example) is no accident.
"The Grace Effect" is a riveting look into how all societies reflect the deeper theological roots beneath them, and how redemption can happen, even just one person at a time.
I found myself interested to try and apply these concepts to my thinking about other countries close to my heart. For example, how does Japan's polytheistic foundation impact its citizens in unrealized ways, and what could the flow of God's grace look like as it penetrates this east-Asian nation?
Taunton's book ends leaving some loose ends still untied, as is often the case in real life. Little Sasha has a new home and loving parents now, but she is still not cured. Christopher Hitchens is perhaps impacted by Sasha's life, but he is by no means a new convert to Christianity. And of course, corruption still festers beneath the surface of business as usual in the Ukraine. But we see glimmers of hope.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 20 for The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Testimony of Grace's Impact

Date:November 17, 2011
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Dorie
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
What is 'the grace effect'? According to the author, Larry Alex Taunton, it is the changes brought by God as individuals serve Him. For you see, we all innately know that our actions effect others either for better or worse. No one lives in a vacuum. The simplest choices can have very profound effects on others. As Christians, we are uniquely equipped by God's grace to impact in great ways society as a whole, one individual at a time. This is the premise Taunton bases his book upon.
By sharing his family's experience adopting Sasha, a ten year old girl from Ukraine, Taunton takes readers along a redemptive journey. At times, Taunton's narrative leans toward political and historical analysis, but this information is intertwined and proves necessary for understanding Taunton's opinions and conclusions expressed in the final chapters. Throughout the entire book, Taunton's passion is evident and his experience is honestly shared.
The book itself is thought provoking, compassionate, and a wonderful testimony to the power of redemptive grace. Overall, this story is a compelling read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes through the BookSneeze program. All opinions expressed within this review are my own.
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