Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012
in Reviews, Spiritual, Values
The text of Wild Grace was adapted from Max Lucado’s book Grace. Gray boxes behind the text indicate places where new words and stories were added by James Lund specifically for our teen readers.
If you read my review of Grace you know I enjoyed it. I was interested in finding out how Lund adapted Lucado’s book for teens.
Lund expands on Lucado adding, “One dictionary definition of “grace” is “unmerited divine assistance.” Sounds simple enough— God giving us something we don’t deserve. But do we really get grace? And even if we do, does it have anything to do with our lives?”
As the Grace Adventure begins, Lund interjected four questions relevant to teens who might wonder does grace have anything to do with my life?
What’s the biggest problem you’re dealing with right now?
Do you have a plan to solve it?
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being “no sweat” and 10 being “I’m doomed,” how confident are you in your plan?
Where does God fit into this picture?
Those kind of practical (“head”) questions are important, but Lund also adds heart-warning stories and heart-tugging questions: Lund adds these kind of relevant questions throughout, as well as his own insight: “Jesus overcomes the devil’s guilt with words of grace.”
Lucado cautions us not to take grace for granted, and Lund adds his warning, “Sooner or later, we all get caught in the act.”
Lund also spices Lucado’s book up with meaningful quotes:
God will never, never, never let us down if we have faith and put our trust in Him. — Mother Teresa
For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them. — Augustine
Lund’s teen-friendly stories were, for the most part, teen-friendly, but I did wish they were more “average”, appealing to the average reader.
There were a variety of stories about teens representing a cross-section of prospective teenage readership: a teen and porn, a student in special-education classes, kayaking teens, a daughter who drives her own Ford Mustang, and an All-state athlete, but I still wondered how many teens could engage with the stories.
A typo appears, but not often enough to distract, for example, “How has God given you grace lotely?” “Lotely?” We know it’s “lately”, move on.
On the other hand, when Lund asks a great question of his teen audience he needs to give room for a response. Not physical room, there is space on the book’s page, readers need emotional room.
And, when Lund asked the very deep, “When was the last time someone did something truly awful to you?” it needed to be followed up with caring support.
Lund had an opportunity for a grace-filled healing response, but instead followed that question with another question.
Not just any question, Lund continues with a question that many wounded shame-filled readers who took seriously “When was the last time someone did something truly awful to you?” and thought of their awful experience – perhaps abuse, betrayal, abandonment, or rape – Lund asks, “Did you respond with a grudge or with grace?”
At best, a missed opportunity.
At worst, a shaming lack of grace.
If something “truly awful” had happened in a readers life, a self-judging grudge or grace question is ill-timed.
Overall, I loved Lucado’s Grace, and Lund’s additions on Wild Grace will help their young readers engage with their insights and hopefully find themselves more attracted to the God of grace.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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 [...] “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”