Some notes on two books I have read recently:
C.S. Lewis was surprised by joy. N.T. Wright is surprised by hope. Pastor Tullian Tchividjian is surprised by grace, particularly the grace he finds in the Old Testament story of Jonah.
Although the Bible condenses Jonah’s story into four brief chapters, Tchividjian digs deep into the text and emerges with a book full of gospel treasure. Contrasting Jonah’s tribal mindset with the missionary heart of God, Surprised by Grace places individual salvation and calling into a cosmic context of redemption that emphasizes the need for Christians to be overwhelmed daily by God’s grace toward rebels.
Tchividjian’s book combines insightful exegesis, pastoral wisdom, and personal passion. Art admirers will also enjoy the illustrations: fourteen famous artist renderings of Jonah throughout church history. (Click here to read an excerpt from this book.)
Turner’s second memoir of sorts recounts his early years in the world of independent Baptists who frowned on contemporary music and any Christian outside their tight circle of influence. Hear No Evil traces his pathway into the heart of contemporary Christian music and reflects on the power of music to bring back memories and ignite in us a desire for transformation. A bit too meandering at times, this book has some funny moments, but suffers from a lack of overall direction.
(Click here to see my comments on an excerpt from this book.)