This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Kristine Hall for Readers' Favorite
In Grace Upon Grace, the Reverend Dr. Gregory Neal begins by explaining the difference between various faith communities about how God's grace is received. Neal explains that those faith communities which follow sacramental theology believe that grace is received via instruments of grace, and those which follow ordinance theology believe grace is received only directly from God. Neal primarily discusses the sacramental theology belief, viewing God as always being the principal actor in a Christian's life; however, he often presents and illustrates his points by contrast to the ordinance theology, so readers get a broad understanding of the theologies. As the book progresses, through a series of questions at the end of each chapter, readers are encouraged to reflect upon not only how they receive grace, but to define how grace looks within one's own life. Though he clearly shows that he believes the sacramental theology, he doesn't condemn believers of any faith community and reminds us that "God's grace is bigger than our differences." Neal takes readers on a reflective journey that is expertly written and well-researched with footnotes and an extensive bibliography for consideration.
Almost immediately after starting Grace Upon Grace, I realized that I hadn't ever fully explored the definition of grace. As a Christian, I accept and am thankful to God for His grace, but until Dr. Neal posed the question to readers of how they receive grace -- and I was stumped to answer -- I hadn't thought through the particulars. Dr. Neal, in keeping with sacramental theology, teaches that grace cannot be earned or made or produced by humans. Further, he states that "what grace does for us and within us depends entirely upon where we are in our faith development." Neal uses analogies and metaphors that illustrate his points, making it easier for the lay person to understand the concepts -- and there are concepts that had my mind spinning. Thankfully, theological terms are defined and the summary questions at the end of each chapter really help readers focus and reinforce meanings. I would recommend this book to anyone who ponders the wonder of God's grace and who can be open minded enough to see different perspectives of how grace is realized.