What if God sees us the way a man sees a woman he is infatuated with, and His main question is not how to make us moral but rather how to get us to fall in love with Him? In The Romance of Grace, Jim McNeely explores Bible passages that tell us what God really wants for us and what His love means. This is the love of a God who chose to give His life for ours, even carefully retaining His scars into the throne room of heaven and telling us in His very body, “I have gone to great lengths and great costs to say that I forsook all comforts for the love of you.” Join Jim in his exploration of life in God’s unconditional, redeeming, amazing grace.
Praise for The Romance of Grace:
“It’s tremendously accessible – my new go-to recommendation for newcomers to theology – but it’s also remarkably profound, rewarding several readings, because the book’s every bit as much an emotional exercise as a rational one. The book is valuable as a model for how to write theology, and how to write it well. His ideas are intellectually engaging, but they all come packaged with an emotional magnetism that’s only appropriate to writing about Christianity.
—Will McDavid, Writer for Mockingbird Ministries.
“When people talk about grace, listen carefully. I’ve listened long enough to listen for certain things: “buts and brakes.” We often speak about grace with a thousand qualifications, revealing a paralyzing fear that grace will be taken too far. Our greatest concern, it seems, is that people will take advantage of grace and use it as a justification to live licentiously, so we Christians end up saying more about what grace isn’t than we do about what grace is. It is time, as Robert Farrar Capon put it, to get drunk on grace. Two hundred- proof, defiant grace. That’s what you get here in Jim’s book. No “but’s” here. And you won’t feel the tapping of the brakes either. You won’t see a list of qualifications, and you’ll get no “footnotes.” What you’ll encounter is grace unmeasured, vast and free. It’ll frighten you and free you at the same time. After all, that’s what grace does. Thanks, Jim! Drink up…”
—Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and author of Jesus + Nothing = Everything.
“In The Romance of Grace we are confronted with a truth that we may have previously rejected. It seemed too easy to embrace. It lacked obligation on our part and contradicted accusations we have given credence to for the majority of our lives on earth. Yet herein lies the truth—“Not that we loved God, but that God loved us.” This book will help to right the plumb line in your life.”
—David Collins, author of Out of the Box, founder of Canadian Food for the Hungry International.
“So often we turn our faith in Christ into a forcing mechanism, which doesn’t work in any event; and if anything, produces disillusionment or hypocrisy. Jim McNeely is hammering home a different point, a point without which Christianity as an American phenomenon could collapse from an eviscerated credibility. The Romance of Grace is about saving our religion. I believe that unless we heed its call, to put grace absolutely without condition and frontally as the be-all and end-all of the Good News, we will lose completely, and not just in “the eyes of the world” but in the failure of well-intentioned religious lives that tried to love and never knew how.”
—Paul F. M. Zahl, author of Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life
“The radical, scandalous, real grace of Jesus Christ shines from this book. McNeely drills down to the core of Christian living and finds the incredible love of a God who alone is good. The Gospel in our lives is not only a treasure experienced at conversion but a gift for daily living, altering desires and restoring hearts. Grounded in Scripture and rich in contemporary illustrations, grace is revealed as bringing assurance and restoration and relationship. How refreshing, true, and needed in a Christian culture that has lost the romance of grace. Take in this book to breathe the air that love breathes, and rejoice with grateful freedom in the wonder of grace.”
—Dax Swanson, Pastor of Grace Church Bellingham in Bellingham, WA
“McNeely’s ideas in The Romance of Grace are inspired, and the way he makes the point creative. One technique in particular stands out—at times, the book almost seems like it’s enacting a Law-Gospel dialectic. He speaks unflinchingly about our need or duty to do something as humans, and the language of these sections is always quite demanding, such as the idea that God wants ALL of us, and we must surrender to Him. Then he immediately makes the point that we can’t do it ourselves, that it’s not about us, and that God loves us unconditionally. Exploring how a theology of grace relates to love, beauty, and aesthetics is a wonderful enterprise, and The Romance of Grace is a serious contribution both to Protestant thought as a whole and, for us, to the way we approach Christianity.”
—David Zahl, Mockingbird Ministries, editor of The Mockingbird Blog