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In today’s postmodernist and relativistic culture, Christians must contend with being perceived as argumentative, vindictive, and petty–along with the criticism that religion, in general, is a source of violence and destruction. These pejorative labels and connotations do not resonate with the fruit of the Spirit or with Christ’s mandate to love God and neighbor.
But graciousness is a nonnegotiable dimension of Christian faith. It goes to the very core of the gospel. It is what makes the gospel good news. Without grace and graciousness, Christianity loses its message. In this book, Douglas Jacobsen and Rodney Sawatsky offer a succinct proposal to recover Gracious Christianity. It is a concise but relatively comprehensive overview of Christian beliefs showing how historic Christianity supports graciousness in faith and life. The eight chapters cover God and creation, humankind, hearing God’s voice, the fullness of salvation, the Spirit and life, being church, the Bible, and the future.
Gracious Christianity will be used in undergraduate and graduate religion and theology classes, and it will serve as either an introduction to or a reminder of the "living faith" for believers from various traditions. Its broad-minded and ecumenical spirit will grant it a comfortable home in the academy and the church.
I have never read a more lucid and compelling summary of the Christian faith. With its story of grace and love mixed with conviction and commitment, this is a book to ponder in one’s heart, to discuss with one’s friends, and to savor for a lifetime. If I were not a Christian, I might very well want to become one based on my reading of this text.–Richard T. Hughes, distinguished professor of religion, Messiah College
Marked by unaffected humility, Gracious Christianity is what an earlier generation would have described as a winsome invitation to the Christian faith. As in the best of catechesis, Jacobsen and Sawatsky cover the basics and provide an account of the hope that is in us.–Frederick W. Schmidt, associate professor of Christian spirituality, Perkins School of Theology; author of What God Wants for Your Life