Fifty Shades of Grace offers counterpoint to best-selling novel

Mostly Mennonite/Anabaptist authors contribute 50 compelling stories

September 11, 2013 | Artbeat
MennoMedia |

A smoke-filled hookah bar in Syria. A tense meeting with Israeli soldiers on a “Jesus Walk” in Nazareth. A classroom in the deep south of the U.S. in the 1970s. Standing by a hospital bed. On the streets of Calcutta. In a park full of playing kids.

These are the kinds of settings where grace is found, as readers will discover in a new inspirational book from Herald Press. Fifty Shades of Grace: Stories of Inspiration and Promise is filled with short, true-life accounts from Jim Wallis, Lovella Schellenberg, Marty Troyer, Ron Dueck, Joanne Klassen, Owen Burkholder and many other writers, mostly from the Mennonite/Anabaptist tradition.

The stories of this inspirational book tell of grace moments related to occupation, parenting, family relationships, grief and death, ministry and difficult life situations. It can also be discussed in small groups using a brief study guide at the back of the book.

In his foreword, Donald B. Kraybill, an authority on Anabaptist groups and co-author of Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, writes, “The stories compel, mesmerize, and strike again and again with wonderment for the many colours of God’s lavish love. These contemporary stories of grace all rub against the grain of popular culture. They offer a redemptive counterpoint to the darkness and oppression lurking in the shadows of bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Dennis Hollinger, president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, and author of The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life, writes, “Unlike the book with a similar title, Fifty Shades of Grace portrays the divine reality that meets the greatest need of humans, and their deepest longings.”

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