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What's So Amazing About Grace?

Narrated by: Bill Richards
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Over one million copies sold!

Discover grace as you've never known it before: the most powerful force in the universe and our only hope for love and forgiveness.

Grace is the church's great distinctive. It's the one thing the world cannot duplicate, and the one thing it craves above all else - for only grace can bring hope and transformation to a jaded world.

In What's So Amazing About Grace?, award-winning author Philip Yancey explores grace at street level. If grace is God's love for the undeserving, he asks, then what does it look like in action? And if Christians are its sole dispensers, then how are we doing at lavishing grace on a world that knows far more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of mercy?

Yancey sets grace in the midst of life's stark images, tests its mettle against horrific "ungrace":

  • Can grace survive in the midst of such atrocities as the Nazi Holocaust?
  • Can it triumph over the brutality of the Ku Klux Klan?
  • Should any grace at all be shown to the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed and cannibalized 17 young men?

Grace does not excuse sin, says Yancey, but it treasures the sinner. True grace is shocking, scandalous. It shakes our conventions with its insistence on getting close to sinners and touching them with mercy and hope. It forgives the unfaithful spouse, the racist, the child abuser. It loves today's AIDS-ridden addict as much as the tax collector of Jesus' day.

In his most personal and provocative book ever, Yancey offers compelling, true portraits of grace's life-changing power. He searches for its presence in his own life and in the church. He asks, How can Christians contend graciously with moral issues that threaten all they hold dear?

And he challenges us to become living answers to a world that desperately wants to know, What's So Amazing About Grace?

©1999 Philip D. Yancey (P)1999 by The Zondervan Corporation; 1997 Garry Black; 1995 Mark Tomalty; 16 9

Critic Reviews

"This is beyond a doubt the very best book I have read from a Christian author in my life." (Dr. Robert A. Seiple, President, World Vision)

What listeners say about What's So Amazing About Grace?

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Now in my top. 5 recommended reading for Christians and non-Christians alike.

Absolutely essential reading for Christians and those looking or unsure about what Christianity should look like... Phillip shows how much of the Church has misrepresented God - confusing its mission and heart with the need to enforce Christian morality and values on the rest of the world. He demonstrates how the Church and Christians should really behave, backed by examples from the bible and from history. If it doesn’t move your heart and awaken a thirst for Grace, ... well... it will... so just get it 😋

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • 19-10-2004

A book that sticks with you

Nonfictions, particularly one of this length, are difficult to follow in the car. But I'm surprised at how much of "Grace" has stuck with me months after reading it. Yancey is a bit repetitive, which at first I found annoying, but it did make it easier to pick up where I'd left off. The book gives an apolitical look at the meanness that has crept into public Christian discourse but also offers an antidote. Yancey poses a central question: Why do we have so much trouble believing in God's love and infinite forgiveness? He uses well-researched Biblical support to prove that we should.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger
  • 23-01-2006

Inspiring

First, the small negative: The reader was very slow. I got around this by turning up the speed on my iPod. If I would not have been able to do that, I am not so certain I could have stayed interested.

But now to the content. I am very glad I did stay interested. I love the way Yancey teaches us about grace. He uses many stories to make his point. At the same time, it is not as though he is simply stating his opinion and leaving the Bible out of it. He actually gives very good interpretation of and application from parables. He just simply has a masterful way of relating the concepts of grace to real life.

I like this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone. It impacted my life personally, as I was able to recognize the un-grace I practiced so readily. Through his stories, he shows us what grace looks like and gives us tangible examples to follow in an area where so few examples are obvious in my daily experience. For the first time, I feel as though I have at least a good idea how to start practicing grace without simply piling on more rules which lead instead to ungrace.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin Christy
  • 02-12-2003

It's all about Grace

"There, but for the grace of God..." Yancey has given us a gift in this book by returning the focus from political issues back to the grace of God and the life-changing power of His freely-given gift. The grace-lessness of today's evangelical church is a symptom of how much the church, especially, needs to recieve and give grace.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • 07-04-2003

Challenged by grace

This book gave an interesting viewpoint to what is needed in the Church today. It also challenged my way of thinking of people that don't "measure up". This is a very good book for people that would like to represent Jesus to the world.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicki Apokis
  • 02-02-2007

Life changing - if you dare

I haven't finished listening to the book yet, but felt compelled to write a review. Through his clear exegesis of Biblical references and modern day examples, Philip Yancey holds a scary mirror. Unless you want to have a paradigm shift in how you regard Grace, don't bother to read it. If you are prepared to have a life changing wake up call, then make it your very next read.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cary
  • 11-11-2003

Great Book!

I found this book to very interesting and relevant to current world events. Personally, it forced me to take a deep look at myself and my practice of grace within my life. Specifically, how do I honor Christ?
I would recommend this book to anyone who has issues with forgiveness. It brings to light what really matters to God and reaffirms the lessons that taught by Jesus Christ.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Johnny Excitement
  • 29-09-2007

Why sinners don't like Christians

This book does a wonderful, thought provoking, and challenging, job of how to look at "sinners" and people that range from plain evil to the average non-Christian. I listened to the last part of this book repeatedly where the author refers to helping nourish famished souls by assisting in the Lord's Supper. He mentioned that one women stated, (I am paraphrasing), "...I do not partake of the Lord's Supper because I am a good Christian, but rather because I am a bad Christian. I suffer from severe hypoglycemia of the soul. I am filled with anger, doubt and laziness" (again I am paraphrasing). The author talks about how we are dishonest in church - we come to church where we act, and appear to have it "all together", while visitors who are miserable, and feeling worthless leave because they feel they don't measure up to the churches standards. Jesus had compassion on a prostitute caught in the act - in how many churches would a prostitue find compassion and understanding - let alone acceptance? Sinners loved being with Jesus (read the gospels) - they don't love being with most of us Christians, or setting foot in our churchs.

A local Christian Radio Host died earlier this year. One of her co-workes, from her radio station talked about how she had prayed with the homeless and the drug dealers in Detroit. Phillip Yancey does a wonderful job of how to think about how I should treat sinners (such as drug dealers). After this person died, I wondered, if one of the drug dealers wanted a Christian to pray with, to talk to, and to find their way to God, would there be another Christian available?

Phillip Yancey goes into numerous historical examples of people filled with grace who have made a difference - such as Martin Luther King Jr.

This book does a wonderful job of answering the question of, "Why are Christians viewed by the world as full of hate and unforgiving?", as well as why people say, "If I ever set foot in a church the roof would cave in."

6 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 15-07-2017

Great story - unpardonable editing!

There is no more important message for today's Christian. Wonderfully told with powerful stories.

Unfortunately, the editing was poorly - even sloppily - done. In numerous places, the performer made mistakes, stopped, backed up, and restarted - reading the passage correctly the second time. I'm sure this is standard practice for audio voice artists. It is the job of the editors to stitch these voice tracks together into a flawless whole. in this case, however, Zondervon failed their responsibility to the author by leaving all the flubs in place. Not only does this break up ones concentration on the underlying storyline, but it makes a person wonder why a Christian title is brought to market with inferior quality that is not tolerated in more "commercial" titles.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lass
  • 16-05-2004

Wow, Inspiring!

After listening to this book, I bought 6 paper copies and shipped them to my parents and five sisters. Very inspiring. I've since listened to several other Yancey books. All have been good, but this one's the best.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robin
  • 11-11-2008

Excellent!

This was my first, but certainly not going to be my last, audio book by Philip Yancey. It is very well read, clear and understandable without the volume fluctuations of some audio books. Really anxious to hear more from this author!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-2007

What's so amazing about Grace

A brilliant book which I have listened to several times and each time I have got something more from it. Well worth reading!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ayo
  • 08-07-2020

Amazing Grace

Great topic.....as it says ...Amazing Grace.... what's so amazing?? This explains exactly what! Extraordinary Grace....

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  • Mini
  • 03-07-2020

Amazing

It was inspiring and a must read for a practicing Christian, I really got information from it and would put some of it into practice.

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  • Stine Hølleland
  • 26-08-2019

Amazing!

This is such a great book, and something I really needed to hear. The way Yancey describes grace and how the church (how Christians) should show grace, is something every believer should hear. Sadly many Christians seem to have forgotten what grace is, how badly we need it, and how badly the world needs to see grace working in and through us. Thanks to Philip Yancey for reminding us. I would definitely recommend this book to all my friends, to every Christian, and to everyone seeking to know God!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-2019

Amazing book about Amazing Grace

Best book I've read in the longest time. Great insight as to the mercy and grace of God.

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  • Olu
  • 28-07-2018

Great read for all Christians!

Well written and great story lines to explain his ideas. Great read for all Christians

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-2018

A great reminder about grace

Narration was easy to follow BUT the edit needed more attention - there were a few mistakes which could have been corrected.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia Borthwick
  • 15-11-2017

A good insight into Grace ..

Enjoyed the book much. and liked the use of updated parables as exqmples. A good book to read if you can't quite get your head round the idea of grace, what it is, and how to apply it.

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  • Rashida
  • 26-10-2017

Must Read

So refreshing. A very challenging read for a Christian. He makes you look at yourself and be inspired to change.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carôle
  • 19-01-2016

Eye opening and thought provoking!

This is now my fourth time of listening to this book. I was drawn back to it because of the sequel Vanishing Grace.

Now, this book isn't for you if you know all about God's Grace, or if you're satisfied and assured with your role as a Christian. You won't learn anything from this book because, you already know it!

However, if like me, you struggle a little bit with your Christianity, and have conflicting or confused ideas as to your role in life then,this book's for you. You still won't know it all but, you'll know it better.

Then go and buy Vanishing Grace. I think you'll hear the voice of Jesus sometimes.

Enjoy!