Book Reviews for Bibliophiles Column, June 3, 2012

The Grace Effect, How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief, by Larry Alex Taunton, 2011, Thomas Nelson

The Grace Effect chronicles one family’s passage through the politically gnarled and frustrating process of adopting a girl from the Ukraine.

Larry Taunton helped his family navigate the maze of bribes, bureaucratic barriers, and desolation reflected in Ukrainian orphanages. Beginning and ending the book detailing his debates with atheist lecturer Christopher Hitchens, the author explains what he calls “common grace”.

This book reviews the atheism-Christianity debate, indicting the secular left’s assumption of moral superiority without God. The author describes why atheistic systems never serve their people despite rhetoric to the contrary. Taunton takes no prisoners here: he exposes lies without mercy, uncovering systemic misery.

Sasha’s story ends miraculously and happily. It shows the lingering grace inherent in American law and thinking contrasted with the absence of concern for human life intrinsic in secular atheism. The Grace Effect left me breathless from its unflinching rendering of what happens without the influence of God in a culture.

Memorable quotes:

  • Page 22: “Through the inward transformation of the individual, there is a corresponding outward transformation of society…the “grace effect”…an observable phenomenon — that life is demonstrably better where authentic Christianity flourishes.” [page 22]
  • “…very few of those carrying out the horrors of the twentieth century worried overmuch that God was watching what they were doing…that is, after all, the meaning of a secular society.” [page 35]
  • “It is the nature of socialist revolutions to end in ‘disillusionment and disappointment’ because…they begin with the wrong premise—there is no God.” [page 83]
  • “…atheists don’t do benevolence.” [page 118]
  • “….before anyone can grasp the doctrine of saving grace, he must first experience grace in its more common form.” [page 171]


I review for BookSneeze®

NOTE:  BookSneeze provided me a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.


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