The Grace and Truth Paradox by Randy Alcorn was given to me (and a copy to each of my siblings) by my Dad last Christmas. I had picked it up a number of times and read bits and pieces of it, but finally decided to read the whole thing through as I’ve been trying to get back into regular reading by picking a book to read each month. It’s a short read at 92 small pages and has a balance of anecdotes, truth about well, grace and truth and scripture to back it up.
The ideas of grace and truth are compared, contrasted and each shown throughout the book to be incomplete without the other. Without giving you a whole review of the book, I’ll just give you something about each that stuck out at me.
In The Grace and Truth Paradox, Randy Alcorn explains some of culture surrounding the parable of the prodigal son. Regarding the father, he says “Dignified men in the Middle East didn’t run. And they certainly didn’t throw parties for sons guilty of shame and waste.” I never really thought about this parable of a rebellious son who finally decides to come home in any context other than our own culture before. Certainly in any time and place, the father’s reaction of love and forgiveness towards his son is an act of grace, but this grace is even more radical considering the importance that Middle Eastern culture places on respect for family and the disrespect that this father’s son displayed to him and the rest of the family. This and much more is the kind of grace that God offers to me and enables me to offer to other people if I accept it.
How I handle truth in the seemingly small situations in life has just as profound of an effect as how truth is handled in the big moments and tough decisions. I’ve been watching Dead Like Me recently and one theme that seems to repeat itself is that the people who are dead (or undead) often regret the “small” things that they did not take the time for in life, like spending more time with family, or saying sorry or I love you more often. When it comes to truth, how I handle the small situations in life is what will be remembered.
Next month’s book will either be Crazy Love, or I might possibly switch to fiction and read Eldest. Only time will tell, and you will find out for sure in another 30 days or so.