Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review: The Grace Effect

The Grace Effect by Larry Taunton is a powerful narrative and an eye opening read to say the least.  I did not know who Larry Taunton was prior to reading this book.  He is a well known and respected academic, historian, and Christian apologist who participates in public debates.  However, this book is very easy to read - well written as well as thought provoking.

As Taunton chronicles his family's adoption of a ten-year old Ukrainian girl named Sasha it is a very heart wrenching and moving ordeal.  I was both inspired and appalled at some of the events that occurred during this process.  But the adoption story is really not the focus of the book; it illustrates the contrasting dynamics between a society affected by Christian grace (US), and one where common grace is lacking (Ukraine).

The grace effect is defined as "an obvservable phenomenon where life is demonstrably better where Christianity flourishes".  Taunton's case study is compelling.  His basic point is that even though not every American is a church going Christian, and there are many that actively reject Christianity, the foundations of our society are rooted in respect for Christian morality and respect for God, having the present result that American culture has a strong influence of grace.  People tend to treat each other with some measure of decency.  We're not talking about saving grace here, but common grace.

When Taunton steps into a world with a near absence of grace, specifically the adoption process in Ukraine, he discovers what common grace truly is, the lack of it in essence defines it.  Some of his descriptions sound like echoes of his frustration rather than pure objectivity to me - but they also concur with stories I've heard from my sister who adopted from Russia.

I highly recommend this book.  You will find yourself cheering for Sashsa and the grace that represents her life.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program for this review.

1 comment:

Kathy M said...

Great review, might get this to read!