May 26, 2010

Bible teachers often distinguish between two kinds of repentance. The first kind is what they call attrition. It isn’t heartfelt sorrow for wrongdoing but a  selfishly motivated response to potential punishment. This could well be Jonah’s response. His willingness to go to Ninevah now in order to avoid further discipline can be seen as an act of attrition–external, self-preserving, and even self-centered.

The second kind of repentance Bible teachers talk about is contrition. Contrition is true repentance. It entails heartfelt sorrow for offending God and others. It involves not just turning away from disobedience, but also turning toward obedience. it’s an external change motivated by an internal change. It’s self-sacrificial. It’s God-centered.

False repentance, or no repentance, leads to bitterness, anger, and unwillingness to acknowledge wrongdoing. Until we can recognize our own wrongdoing, we’ll continue to be mastered by this self-centered bondage. Our relationships will continue to be strained and frayed. Freedom comes only with true repentance (p. 106).

Blog Tour – Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian

May 13, 2010

Readers of this blog will know how much I love books. I love collecting, I love reading, and I love learning, especially about the Word of God and the Christian life. I have been given the privilege of being a part of Crossway Books’ May Blog tour of Tullian Tchividjian’s Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels.

Tullian Tchividjian is pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and the author of Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different and Do I Know God? Finding Certainty in Life’s Most Important Relationship. He also blogs at On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Here’s the press release from Crossway,

Most Christians assume that the gospel is something non-Christians must believe in order to be saved, but after we believe it, we advance to deeper theological waters. In Surprised by Grace, Tullian Tchividjian shows how when God rescues sinners, his plan isn’t to move them beyond the gospel, but to move them more deeply into it. The only antidote to sin is the gospel—and since Christians remain sinners even after they’re converted, the daily preaching of the gospel is essential for all Christians.

For Tchividjian, it was through the story of Jonah that he came face-to-face with the fact that the gospel is not only for non-Christians.

Surprised by Grace is a storied presentation of the gospel from the book of Jonah. It’s a story of sin and grace, of desperation and deliverance. It reveals that while we are great sinners, God is a great Savior. While our sin reaches far, his grace reaches farther. This story shows that God is in the business of relentlessly pursuing rebels—a label that ultimately applies to us all. He comes after us not to angrily strip away our freedom, but to affectionately strip away our slavery so we might become truly free.

This book is for anyone who is tempted, struggles, or continues to battle against sin. “I wrote Surprised by Grace (Crossway, May 2010) because we all need to be,” explains Tchividjian.

Over the next little while I will be reading and reviewing the book and including excerpts from the book for our enjoyment and edification. But here’s the exciting part.


Here’s how you can win. Leave a comment below about how the sovereignty of God helped you make it through a calamitous situation in life. When the world seemed ready to end and everything was blowing up all around you, how was it that knowing that God was sovereign helped you make it through? I’ll randomly pick one of the answers to award a free copy of this book. And stick around as we interact with the book in the near future!

May Contest Winner

May 13, 2010

The winner of the 2010 Crossway Book Giveaway for May is Matt and Ruth Stiles of the blog! You’ve won a copy of Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels by Tullian Tchividjian. From the Crossway website:

“As today’s Christians struggle to grasp the gospel’s true power, Surprised by Grace unfolds a liberating story that helps us come to grips with the shocking extent of God’s compassion..”

June’s winner will receive a copy of  Meaning at the Movies: Becoming a Discerning Reviewer by Grant Horner

Not yet entered in the contest? You can find out how to enter by clicking on the contest logo below.

April Contest Winner

May 13, 2010

The winner of the 2010 Crossway Book Giveaway for April is Mark author of the blog Here I Blog! You’ve won a copy of Paul Trip’s new book, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. From the Crossway website:

“Internationally known speaker, pastor, teacher, and author calls engaged and married couples to a grace-based lifestyle of daily reconciliation, marked by six practical commitments.”

April’s winner will receive a copy of  Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels by Tullian Tchividjian

Not yet entered in the contest? You can find out how to enter by clicking on the contest logo below.