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Encountering God’s Relentless Grace for Imperfect People
by Mike Howerton
Publisher:Baker Books imprint of Baker Pub. from Lion
Published:03 March 2012
I have a real fondness for the Jonah story, and a real bug bear in that so few seem to get the Jonah story and seem to think it ends with the conversion of the Ninevites – it doesn’t. This book knows that and uses the Jonah story in the way it’s meant to be, it uses it to highlight God’s radical and relentless grace and our utter inability to actually grasp that and shows our attempts to run away and avoid that fact and all the problems that causes us as an imperfect people.
Glorious Mess is wonderful, it’s warm, witty – in fact not only witty it’s really funny at times – and above all it’s caring and understanding and filled with grace, humility and firm teaching on endless love, the kind God has for all of us regardless of who we are, where we are and what we’ve done or are doing. Indeed as the author puts it on page 179 ‘Because of Jonah we see the unconditional, unending, unyielding, unfailing love of God for imperfect people. That is why Jesus says in Matthew 12, ‘You want a sign? I’ll give you a sign, Jonah.’
This is not a biblical study book, it’s a personal study guide. At the end of each section there’s a ‘Mining the Mess: Making it Personal’ piece that has questions and suggestions for you to think on about yourself and your actions. These would also make great group study questions so I was really amazed to find at the back of the book a strong five week Group Study Guide actually provided as well. This is a fantastic book to read as an individual, but the insight and value of using it in a group setting really would be great because it highlights so well some issues we might have problems with and need help to make changes in our personal and corporate thinking.
Reviewer: Melanie Carroll (25/08/12)