Too often we talk about God's sovereignty out loud, but inside we're certain that our own sinful thoughts and actions have disrupted His divine plan. What we forget is that the ultimate evil, Christ's death on the cross, was the part of God's plan which resulted in the greatest good—His glorification and our salvation.
If God is truly sovereign, then He's sovereign over everything, even our own sin. This doesn't mean that God is in any way responsible for our sin, but it does mean that He uses the evil we do and think to shape us into the people He wants us to be. Far from leading us to revel in our sin, Barbara Duguid assures us, this knowledge when fully understood will lead us to turn more and more toward holiness and away from the appetites of the flesh.
The wife of respected pastor and theologian Iain Duguid, Barbara has packed Extravagant Grace with so many reminders of God's grace in our weakness that it'll take most of us more than one reading to find them all. Taking her cues largely from the theological writings of John Newton (author of the hymn "Amazing Grace"), she shows us the proper Christian attitude toward sin, how we should deal with besetting sin, why God allows us to fall so often, and why He never gets tired of picking us up.
Duguid uses her own experiences with besetting sins to exemplify each point. Her forthrightness is surprising, maybe even off-putting for many readers, until we remember that as Christians whose sin has been forgiven we no longer have need for shame. The Gospel is that Christ took our sin on Himself and remembers it no more, and this is cause for rejoicing indeed.
Not many books are as deeply theological and eminently practical as this one. Every page is filled with wisdom, reassurance, and encouragement for Christians who sin. The goal isn't to assure us that it's okay to sin, far from it. Rather, Duguid urges us to stop peering at our own fallen-ness, and to stare into our Savior's beautiful, ever-merciful face. One of the best books ever!
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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