“Yet from the very beginning, Jesus’ expectation was that grace was not something to be hoarded, but something to be shared…..Grace isn’t just to be received. It’s also meant to be given,” (p. 106). And this is in short, the key point throughout Johnnie Moore’s book entitled Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches.
The book is divided in two parts. The first, “Getting Grace” reads like devotional material and there are some solid anecdotes shared from Moore’s international travel. Compelling is the story dealing with lepers and the need to still touch or draw near to those considered outcasts. The second part is entitled “Giving Grace” and this is a series of exhortations to give grace as a result of grasping the gospel or at least understanding that we’ve been treated far better by God than we deserve.
The second section is what I was looking forward to and frankly I felt it stalled a bit in the anecdotes and vignettes. Sometimes clear writing and clear exhortation beats an illustration, particularly when calling people to action. With that said, the final chapter is worth your time. In fact, I found myself wanting Moore to be less ‘clever’ (see the chapter ‘What to do when terrorists kill your spouse’) and more concrete. The final chapter entitled ‘what would happen if grace covered the earth’ is a better subtitle to the book than ‘Jesus in the Trenches’ and it’s a hopeful chapter that deserved more time. I also wondered: ‘what happens if this final chapter is the first section of the second part and is then unpacked? Moore does nail the fact that grace truly sets Christianity apart from all other philosophies and world religions and it’s this thought which prompted me to pick up the book.
Max Lucado’s recent book entitled ‘Grace’ is a bit more vivid and useful, but Moore’s intention, international flare, and final exhortation are encouraging. The world really does need more grace.
(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255)