28.10.11

"Chaos and Grace" by Mark Galli








Mark Galli. Chaos and Grace: Discovering the Liberating Work of the Holy Spirit. Baker, 2011. 203 pgs.

In Chaos and Grace, Galli asserts that the church has forgotten the character of the God we serve. We have forgotten that He is beyond our control, unpredictable, untamable, and mysterious. In His place many churches have centered their life on idols of control, peace, and order. In the midst of this situation, Galli seeks to wake us up. He spends the first half of this book examining biblical passages in which we see how God works, how chaos and grace are defining factors of walking with God; the chaos of life beyond our control, and the grace that shines through in the midst of it. The second half of the book is an analysis of current church culture, decrying our loss of touch with God Almighty and calling us back. 


Galli acknowledges that the first half of his book, examining scripture with the themes of Chaos and Grace in mind, will seem odd to many as these are not often taken to be primary themes of scripture. And he was absolutely right; those chapters did feel odd; but they were also interesting. I did not agree with everything Galli had to say about them, nor all of the insights he drew from them, but he succeeding in making me consider and read those texts anew, which is already a good thing. In the second half of Chaos and Grace, Galli is particularly poignant as church culture critic. My own critique here is that he needed to speak more about where the church ought to be and less about where it is. Still, just as in the first half, you cannot read this second half without pausing at points and considering how you do church. 


Conclusion: 3.5 Stars. Conditionally Recommended. This was a decent book, with good thoughts, and we certainly need to be reminded of the what our God is like.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


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