In today’s postmodernist and relativistic culture, Christians must contend with being perceived as argumentative, vindictive, and petty—along with the criticism that religion, in general, is a source of violence and destruction. These pejorative labels and connotations do not resonate with the fruit of the Spirit or with Christ’s mandate to love God and neighbor.
But graciousness is a nonnegotiable dimension of Christian faith. It goes to the very core of the gospel. It is what makes the gospel good news. Without grace and graciousness, Christianity loses its message. In this book, Douglas Jacobsen and Rodney Sawatsky offer a succinct proposal to recover Gracious Christianity. It is a concise but relatively comprehensive overview of Christian beliefs showing how historic Christianity supports graciousness in faith and life. The eight chapters cover God and creation, humankind, hearing God’s voice, the fullness of salvation, the Spirit and life, being church, the Bible, and the future.
Gracious Christianity will be used in undergraduate and graduate religion and theology classes, and it will serve as either an introduction to or a reminder of “the living faith” for believers from various traditions. Its broad-minded and ecumenical spirit will grant it a comfortable home in the academy and the church.
Gracious Christianity is a beautiful, intelligent, and readable introduction to Christian faith. It will be of help to people approaching the faith for the first time, eager to see it as a grace-filled and peaceable way of life and not as an argumentative and tensely-held dogma. It will also be a great help to people who are Christians but want to get a fresh vision of what their faith can mean in their lives and in our world.
—Brian McLaren, pastor and author
I have never read a more lucid and compelling summary of the Christian faith. With its story of grace and love mixed with conviction and commitment, this is a book to ponder in one’s heart, to discuss with one's friends, and to savor for a lifetime. If I were not a Christian, I might very well want to become one based on my reading of this text.
—Richard T. Hughes, distinguished professor of religion, Messiah College
Gracious Christianity is itself a gracious gift to all of us. In a spirit of loving simplicity, the authors offer us marvelous insights into the Christian life. This is a book to read and reread!
—Richard J. Mouw, president and professor of Christian philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
Douglas Jacobsen is distinguished professor of church history and theology at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. He has authored or coauthored such books as Scholarship and the Christian Faith and the award-winning Thinking in the Spirit.
Rodney J. Sawatsky was an administrator for church-related colleges for more than twenty years. He served as president of Messiah College from 1994 to 2004 and was the author of numerous scholarly articles.