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Crossway Books & Bibles Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook

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Customer Reviews for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Review 1 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Surprised Again and Again!

Date:October 30, 2010
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Aubrey
Location:North Carolina
Age:35-44
Gender:male
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
As I read this book, I found myself convicted and reassured. As someone who struggles with doubt, fear, and failure, this book has given me the encouragement I needed. This is a message I was desperate to hear. God pursues all those who call upon His name. I found myself weeping over the grace I have received. And when I got to the last page, the message was clear, Jesus has set me free. I dont have to follow Christ, I WANT to follow Him! READ THIS GOD EXALTING BOOK! You will be changed.
+1point
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Review 2 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book on grace.

Date:October 8, 2010
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Todd
Location:Oklahoma City, OK
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Surprised By Grace subtitled God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels is an in depth look at the short prophetical book of Jonah. Drawing heavily from Calvin’s classic commentary on the book as well as artistic attempts to portray the miraculous events it contains, Tchividjian seeks to put the reader in the place of Jonah and in doing so show our need for grace.
I read through this book differently than I do most. Most books I read I start and finish in the same day or in two to three days at most. However since I was reading this book while preaching through the book of Jonah I read a chapter a week for almost 2 months. I must say that I never felt lost when picking the book back up after a week. Tchividjian does an excellent job of making the book very readable.
Tchividjian seeks to point all the events of Jonah to the cross and show the reader that the ultimate fulfilling of Jonah is found in Jesus. He also shows that our need for grace is only fulfilled in the cross of Jesus. Tchividjian also points out that the cross is not just a one-time decision for Christians, but one we must go back to daily to live a life dead to sin.
As I flipped back through the book this morning to write this review I found very few pages did not have passages underlined, highlighted, noted or marked in some way. I would highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to better understand their salvation and the mystery of Grace.
+2points
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Review 3 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Okay, But Not Great

Date:October 1, 2010
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DanJulian
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Surprised by Grace begins with an extended treatment of the book of Jonah, and it ends with some discussion of what Jonah says about the Gospel. I have tried to say what I’m about to say in four other ways, but the most direct route is probably best. The first half of this book is not helpful. I guess I’ll start by stating what I didn’t like before moving on to what I liked.
What I Didn’t Like
Tchividjian opens by stating that Jonah teaches clearly, “The gospel is not just for non-Christians but also for Christians.” I agree with him. He then goes through a study of the events in Jonah, which often reads like a collection of illustrations. The illustrations aren’t always particularly helpful. A lot of times, the chapters feel wildly unfocused–wandering from an early discussion of Jonah’s rebellion into side discussions on definitions of grace or repentance. The author says in the acknowledgements that this book came out of a series of sermons; this might explain the wandering, illustration-heavy style, but I’m not a fan of it.
What I Liked
I liked that the author included and referred to a number of artistic representations of Jonah. I haven’t seen this in many books, but I found that it was a nice way to increase our understanding of the text. As I mentioned above, I found the second half of the book to be more helpful. Some thoughts:
- I like Tchividjian’s description of the difference between Jonah’s tribal mindset, and God’s missional mindset. I recently argued at my site that there are churches who are going to die out because they are more concerned with the preservation of a culture than the proclamation of the Gospel. Tchividjian catches this theme in Jonah and writes, “The highest value of a community with a tribal mindset is self-preservation...But in a missional-minded community, the highest value isn’t self-preservation but self-sacrifice.” (p. 135)
- He does a good job of pointing out the dangers of irreligious anti-legalism as a subtle way to slide into self-righteousness and legalism all over again. (pp. 145-148) As Luther is often accused of saying, “Satan doesn’t care which side of the horse we fall off, as long as we don’t stay in the saddle.”
- Tchividjian draws a nice line down the middle of the question on worship (Is it geared towards encouraging Christians or attracting non-believers?): ”The truth is that our worship services should be geared to sinners in need of God’s rescue–and that includes both Christians and non-Christians.” (p. 155)
In The End
In the end, I won’t recommend this book to many people. I don’t think it’s very helpful as far as an exposition of Jonah goes, and the helpful material near the end is limited.
-2points
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Review 4 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 21, 2010
Tullian Tchividjian has written an easy-to-read work that causes the reader to look in the mirror and see in the reflection a picture of the prophet Jonah within our own heart. Adapted from a sermon series preached at his church, this work examines the biblical story of Jonah with fresh eyes and a clear focus of seeing God's pursuit of rebels and ultimately pointing those rebels to Jesus.Utilizing the biblical text of Jonah, as well as additional Old and New Testament passages, artwork through the centuries, and supporting quotes from other authors and pastors, a portrait of Jonah emerges that every man can identify with. Tchividjian does an excellent job of combining three themes (the depth of man's sin, the magnificent grace of God, and the call He places on our lives) throughout the book. Surprised by Grace is a great reminder that God continues to pursue rebels, and by His grace transform us for His purpose. An enjoyable book that not only gives an overview of the book of Jonah but convicts and challenges as well.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Crossway book review bloggers program. 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 Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
+1point
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Review 5 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 18, 2010
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Jennifer Ekstrand
I received a complimentary copy of Tullian Tchividjians book Surprised by Grace from Crossway. This short book uses the "surprising" story of Jonah to display the awe-inspiring gospel with clarity. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.Tchividjian demonstrates that Jonah isnt just for children as he walks through the story, focusing on how God sovereignly pursues sinners to show them grace. He picks up on themes within the narrative, such as idolatry and the repeated use of "great". He pointed out frequently overlooked details and their significance.One thing I enjoyed about this book was the incorporation of other works. Within the Bible, Tchividjian drew parallels to other passages; according to the Scripture Index, he refers to 34 books besides Jonah. He refers to other literature from sources such as C. S. Lewis, Robert Frost, and Herman Melville. Descriptions of artistic depictions added a bit of color.I also appreciated the open style as Tchividjian relates how studying Jonah impacted his own life, especially concerning the centrality of the gospel. Early in the book he says "it was through probing this story of Jonah that I came face-to-face with one of the most life-changing truths in my experience. I came to grips with the fact that the gospel is not just for non-Christians but also for Christians" (page 15). Later he makes it more personal: "For me, this truth has been revolutionary. In studying and teaching this book of Jonah, there have been times when Ive felt as if Id become a Christian for the first time. God saved me when I was twenty-one, and that experience was genuine and effectivethe deal was done. But Ive come to see that I still need to experience the ongoing, liberating power of the gospel in a new way every day" (page 156).I found it well-written, and the content was excellent. It was both exciting and edifying. I would highly recommend Surprised by Grace.
+1point
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Review 6 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 13, 2010
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David Crowe
I recently finished reading Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian, and I have a host of feelings about the book that I would like to share. In short, it is the best devotional/commentary on Jonah that I have ever read.Having read more than 40 different commentaries on Jonah, I approached Surprised By Grace with an attitude of surprise me if you can. All I can say after reading it is that I wish I had the book back in 2007 when I was preparing my own series on Jonah.What the book does well:1) For starters, Tchividjians book does a great job incorporating the message of the Gospel. Every chapter, which deals with a text from Jonah, has great connections to the message of the Gospel. Pastors who struggle with how to correctly preach Jesus from an Old Testament text will find much gold here. Christians who desire to see ways to find Jesus in the Old Testament can learn a lot from Tchividjians insights. Tchividjians approach is similar to preachers like Tim Keller and Bryan Chapell, and there is not much mentioned in any commentary I have read elsewhere on how the passages of Jonah relate to Jesus Christ.2) Second, Tchividjian is an expert researcher. Knowing the details of Jonah, I kept thinking that Tchividjian might leave out some of the amazing information that I had researched years ago. I was proved wrong again and again, and I even learned many new things that I had not previously discovered. 3) Third, the book was incredibly approachable and concise. Tchividjian has written a book than anyone can read and benefit deeply from. To learn so much about Jonah, in so few pages was an amazing feat. I would recommend the book to anyone who desires to learn more about Gods word.In conclusion, the book is an absolute must buy book. If you have any interest in the book of Jonah or in the Gospel, order the book today and take the journey through Jonah. You will not be disappointed!
+1point
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Review 7 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 12, 2010
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Jon Mertz
We all remember the story of Jonah from our early Sunday School classes, almost a cartoon-like character with a lesson of do what God wants to you to do or, a negative version, dont disobey God. That is mostly what we remember about Jonah. Unless we go return to read and study this story as an adult, we have a child-like view of the Jonah story. What Tullian Tchividjian does in Surprised by Grace is give us a more adult view into the story of Jonah, adding great depth to a short story. It is more than a reluctant prophet or rebel story; it is a story of Gods grace. Pastor Tullian enlivens a short book in the Bible with depth and context which delivers meaning for us today. As he points out, the story of Jonah is the only one in which the story is about the prophet. It is a story about the messenger, not necessarily the message. The person perspective is interesting. There many great points to the book. A few that I took away include: 1) The gospel propels are lives. 2) The challenges we face may be a call to do something different, to do something better to change directions. 3) The power of Gods word and grace can change the direction of one life as well as many, many lives. 4) We get disappointed when someone is not punished as we think they should be. We expect Gods grace in our own lives but not necessarily in the lives of others.
+1point
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Review 8 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 8, 2010
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Lee Buford
Tullian Tchividjian is pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Following a Christian upbringing, Tchividjian dropped out of high school at sixteen, moved out of his parents home, and lived a self-described lifestyle of rebellion and sin until age 21until Gods relentless pursuit of his life could no longer be avoided. He understands that God does not give up on people. Based on a series of sermons Tchividjian preached from the book of Jonah, the book journeys through the text, weaving the comparison of the sinful disobedience of one of Gods chosen prophets to the same sinful nature which is consistently exposed in each of us. As Tchividjian relates in his own words:Jonah is a storied presentation of the gospelA few key points Tchividjian wants us to grasp:The gospel is not just for non-Christians, but for Christians as well. We must be saved by the gospel on a daily basis.No sin is bigger than Gods grace. No sinner is beyond His reach. God always values people most. God wants us to join Him in His work of renewing peoples, places, and things. The book is packed with scripture, not only from Jonah, but also from references elsewhere in the Bible. He also taps into the arts to paint a better picture of who Jonah was, and what his story has to do with yours and mine. In the end we see that Jonah is not a story about Jonah and a fish, but a story about Jonah and God, and ultimately about you and me. The following, from Douglas Stuart, accurately relates the ultimate question we should all be able to answer from Gods story of Jonah:What is God really like? is thus a more important question in this book than the question What is Jonah really like? About the latter question one may speculate; about the former question the book leaves no doubt.I highly recommend Surprised by Grace, and I urge you to share it with others. We all need this message.And most importantly, we all need this gospel!
+1point
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Review 9 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:September 3, 2010
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kd
Tchividjian, who is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida, has brilliantly merged commentary, preaching style, art and music, and the truth found in the story of a big fish. But, most people only know this story as being about a big fish. What we will see, as Tullian so rightly points out, it is more about the man whom God rescued from his own sin, and redeemed to be in a right relationship with Himself. This is a story about God who cares so much for His own glory and the healing of a man who was so self-righteous, much like myself.This book would be a great read for anyone really.I will use this book as I write curriculum on grace and especially when I go to write the lesson plan on Jonah.
0points
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Review 10 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 1, 2010
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Bentley Crawford
I recently picked up this new book by Tullian Tchividjian.I did not know what to expect on starting this book; having never read a book by this author before. Reading through the introduction Tullian immediatley takes us to the gospel and helpfully tells us of our ongoing need of the gospel at every point in our life. He moves from this to where Jonah comes in as a storied presentation of the gospel. How Jonah actually has much to offer, in story form, about what the gospel is and its implications for us.Wow, what a great grasp of Biblical Theology! This book drew me in right from the beginning. As I began reading Chapter 1 I started to realize that this is a very clever book. It is in many ways a commentary on the book of Jonah. The entire book is written around the text of Jonah and the flow of it. In fact, you could call it an expository book. While being like a commentary in following the flow of the text it is so much different than the average commentary in that so much of it is directed to us and to the gospel of Gods grace. It helps us to step back and lift our eyes from merely the events recounted in Jonah and see the full picture of Gods gracious plan of redemption, His gracious pursuit of rebels, being played out and foreshadowed in this story.Tullian shows us how the people of Ninevah, Jonah, us and the rest of the world are the ones in need of Gods gracious pursuit! And pursue and save He does!I have been very pleasantly surprised by this book and the grace of God so powerfully pointed to in it. I highly recommend this book and hope that the book of Jonah will become for you what it has become for Tullian, he says: Ive come to deeply appreciate the book of Jonah. I can honestly say that through this book Ive seen the gospel - and allowed it to work in my life - in ways Ive never before experienced.
0points
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Review 11 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:August 27, 2010
Recently I received a review copy of Tullian Tchividjian's book Surprised By Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels from Crossway Books. After trying to clarify the confusion of what is meant by "Gospel" Tchividjian begins to comb through the story of Jonah. He does a really good job of slowly working his way through Jonah's story. He creatively weaves parts of Herman Melville's Moby Dick into his explanation of the Jonah narrative. While I have difficulty with Tchividjian's clarification of what a Gospel is, I found his treatment of the story of Jonah very interesting. He offers a lot of thoughtful insights and observations into this story that open the story for further understanding of God's grace. This book is worth the ready to see a more careful consideration of God's grace in Jonah's life.
0points
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Review 12 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 27, 2010
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Jonathan Griffiths
When you think of Jonah, the first word that springs to mind is not typically gospel. Normally, it is whale, almost exclusively so in fact. In word association games all over the world, Jonah is always paired with our marine mammal friends.Author and pastor Tullian Tchividjian shares his insights into the book of Jonah, and how it not only relates to the gospel, but positively reeks of it too. The book itself is brief, well written and engaging. Tchividjian states that the gospel is not exclusively for the non-Christian, but is equally necessary for the Christians daily life too. Speaking of Luthers famous simul justus et peccator, he says that Luther understood that while hed already been saved (through justification) from sins penalty, he was in daily need of salvation from sins power. (p.17)Tchividjian does a wonderful job of retelling the story of the prophet and showing not only the flaws in Jonah, but the flaws in himself and in us. Surprised by Grace is certainly not light reading, for it will illuminate the areas where we have become proud or arrogant or judgmental, and will call us to receive the gospel anew in Jesus who is the storm. Jesus is Gods gracious intervention for those who are enslaved to themselves. He comes loudly, not subtly, with an aggressive affection to pursue fugitives like you and me. (p.52)Throughout we see references from the rich heritage of the Church, with Luther, Calvin, Chesterton, Grudem, Piper and others fleshing out a well exegeted study of Jonah, full of parallels across the Scriptures. A nice addition to the text is a series of art reprints that depict the story of Jonah and are referenced through the book. This added a visual flair to the reading experience that served the purpose well, drawing bolder pictures of the runaway prophet and his journey away from and back toward the God who pursues.Theres not a person I know who wouldnt be enriched and rewarded by reading this excellent book.
0points
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Review 13 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 25, 2010
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Greg Wilson
"Once God rescues sinners, his plan isn't to steer them beyond the gospel but to move them more deeply into it." This truth is central to our understanding of the gospel, and an understanding of the true nature of the gospel is what led Tchividjian to write Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels. Tchividjian is the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, the church founded by D. James Kennedy and pastored by him until his death in 2007. Tchividjian is also the grandson of Billy Graham. After a rebellious adolescence, during which he was kicked out of several schools, dropped out of high school and was eventually escorted off his parents' property by the police at the age of 16, Tchividjian came to faith at the age of 21. Surprised by Grace started as a sermon series on Jonah that Tchividjian preached at New City Presbyterian Church, a church he planted. When New City merged with Coral Ridge in 2009, Tchvidjian preached it again. According to Tchividjian, Preaching through it the first time marked my preaching ministry forever. Preaching through it the second time saved my life."Tchividjian points out that the book of Jonah is "the gospel in story" that reveals the expansiveness of our sin, God's grace and God's mission. When we depend on anything other than God to give meaning to our lives, we're either consciously or unconsciously minimizing our sin, minimizing God's grace and minimizing God's mission for all nations. I was pleasantly surprised by Surprised by Grace. Like Pastor Tullian, I appreciate the richness and depth of the Jonah narrative and consider it a parable of the gospel. In this short, very readable book, Tchividjian artfully goes after the hearts and the idols of both the saved and the unsaved and demonstrates how the gospel of Christ is sufficient for both.
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Review 14 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 23, 2010
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Julie Blake
This is one of the easiest to read, most profound, and most captivating commentaries that I have ever read. Being a seminary student, I do deal with academic-type commentaries on a regular basis. This is not one of those, it is way too interesting and filled with life application that most do not include. Begin with the preface it's an awesome beginning that will change your perspective of how the gospel works. From the first, Tullina applies scripture to the reader's life and heart. He says, "His (Jonah's) runaway posture is our posture, every time we sin, whether in thought, word, or deed, whether it's something we consider big or something small, whether it's doing something we shouldn't or failing to do something we should" (page 33). Ouch! Right? Read it! The author moves smoothly from section to section of scripture helping the reader swallow the book bit by bit. Tullian does something entirely new and captivating to me. He talks about artwork that deals with Jonah including photos of these works in the book so the reader can see exactly what is meant. I loved it. I felt that the insights offered by Tullian in this book were amazing. He points to the downward spiral that Jonah's life took from the moment he chose to flee God's will. Read the book. I spent about a day and a half reading it because I could NOT put it down! The author applies every single mistake that Jonah makes, every single bad attitude to the reader's life--not in a condemning way, he just points out that we all have those little (and sometimes big) attitudes and problems as well. We get angry at God, we remember Him when we're in trouble, we forget to repent even when we know we're wrong. Just like Jonah, some days we'd rather die than listen to God and do it His way. This book is well worth the price and time spent. You will be surprised at all the small volume contains.
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Review 15 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 13, 2010
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Kevin M. Fiske
With cordial urgency and pastoral compassion, Tchividjian brilliantly navigates the waters of the book of Jonah, retelling this familiar OT story in a way that will have the reader surprised at how deep the waters of Gods grace truly are. Tchividjians aim in the book is to help the reader grow more confident than ever about what the gospel is and how it works (p. 22). Summing it upThe book, though very personal in tone, is also exegetically watchful, blending sound exegesis with practical application.Tchividjians application within the book isnt put forth as follow these 5 steps, but rather by noting, real spiritual growth happens only as we continually rediscover the gospel. Thus, Tchividjian steers away from moralism straight toward deep gospel apprehension and directed application.Tullian includes the text of Jonah throughout the book and then comments on the text. This provides a good model to help people better understand how to practically study an OT narrative.The book makes a careful effort in helping people see how Jesus relates to the story of Jonah, successfully showing how "in the OT God reveals his Messiah in promises, in prophecies, and in shadows. In the New Testament we discover that Jesus is the fulfillment of every promise and prophesy, and the substance behind every shadow. As a caution, the book doesnt provide much in the way of interaction with other scholarly, interpretive viewpoints. If youre looking for that, this is not the place.Overall, I highly recommend spending time with Tchividjian in the book of Jonah! You will undoubtedly leave not only surprised by how amazing and far-reaching Gods grace really is, but also refreshed by a plunge into the deep waters of the gospel and its massive implications for our lives, as taught (maybe to you, surprisingly!) in this short, OT book.NOTE: This is an abridged version of my full review. To read my full review, visit: http://bit.ly/d0RwPT
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Review 16 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 12, 2010
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Daniel Darling
You dont grow up in the church, as I have, without knowing, memorizing, and internalizing the story of Jonah. From the time I was old enough to do Sunday School, all through Vacation Bible School, Childrens Church, and on through sermon series, books, teen discussions, etc, I have heard Jonahs life dissected in every which way.Jonah is the preachers favorite dont-rebel-or-you-will-face-Gods-wrath text. But often, in our desire to zing the rebel, we miss the very heart of the story of Jonah.This is why I was so wonderfully captivated by the majestic presentation of the book of Jonah by one of my favorite pastors and authors, Tullian Tchividjian. Tchividjian approaches the story Jonah from the perspective of the Gospel, seeing Jesus on every one of its pages.The real message in this short prophetic book is not about how angry God is when we rebel, but how merciful God is to pursue rebels and to extend grace to the most heathen. Gods grace isnt just big enough for self-righteous God-followers like Jonah, but its also big enough for the most despicable of peoples.Pastor Tullian uses the Gospel as your guide, walking the reader through every aspect of Jonahs epic life story, leaving no stone unturned. He adds color by tracing historys rendering of this story, both in literature and in art. The book reprints some of the most famous Jonah paintings and sculptures.This is easily one of the best books Ive read all year. I highly recommend it. If you want your faith to be challenged, youre grace expanded, and youre appreciation of the gospel to grow, pick up Surprised by Grace. Then, pass it on to a friend.
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Review 17 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 21, 2010
"surprised by grace" is a very inspirational bestseller by billy grahams grandson tullian tchividjian that is based on some sermons he preached on the book of jonah that shows how God can get back with you or whean you have tough questians in your faith. exellent book and very easy to relate to great for a Bible study or a gift for a friend. good recamendation for Billy grahams new book storm warning.
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Review 18 for Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 2, 2010
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Bryon Mondok
"The gospel doesn't just ignite the Christian life; it's the fuel that keeps the Christian going every day."Tullian Tchividjian brings fresh perspective to the Old Testament story of Jonah in his new book Surprised by Grace; God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels. The book is scheduled for release on May 31, 2010 by Crossway.The central character in Tchividjian's book is Jonah the prophet. The story does not begin with Jonah as a hero nor does it end that way. In fact, the Jonah's story ends rather abruptly as Tchividjian points out a little more than half-way through his book. Jonah is a runner and a complainer. Jonah has the right religion and proper politics; he serves the true God and hates the worst sinners. But, as Tchividjian so skillfully explains, Jonah needs the gospel. He sounds like a lot of people in the church despite his pedigree and profile, Jonahs still running from God. His morality and correct religion have brought him no closer to GodTchividjian says that there are two ways to run from God. And both of them are "self-salvation projects". "Immoral people try to save themselves through licentious living - liberally and lawlessly. Moral people try to save themselves through legalistic living. The immoral try to save themselves by breaking the law; the moral try to save themselves by keeping it.Tchividjian argues compellingly. He shows that the rule keepers need the gospel just as badly as the rule breakers. The reader learns that Jonah is good at being religious and knows it and expects God to move on his behalf because of it. Like the older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (another "rule keeper"), Jonah is baffled that God would show such compassion to such horrible sinners. Tchividjian skillfully links the Old Testament narrative of Jonah to New Testament principles of grace and new beginnings.
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