Book Review: Craving Grace, by Lisa Velthouse

Hands cradling an overflowing jar of honey, Craving Grace‘s cover bespeaks an excess of sweetness.  Lisa Velthouse grabs a common struggle: the perfectionism of Christianity, upended by grace, and proceeds to muddle through her memoir of it.  I loved the concept (I certainly fight the tendency), but her delivery left me nauseated.

“… faith is not about my trying to close the distance between God and me by becoming better than I am, by trying to make the grade or by working to please. It is not at all what I always thought it was- at least it doesn’t begin there.  Faith begins in a nest full of weak and hungry failures, unable to fly for even a moment on our own, needing the constant shelter and warmth of a strong, soft wing.”

The book meanders thru her scattered thought-life, as though I were witnessing a Twitter-feed in action.  I am left wondering – how does this possibly help me grow?  What can I learn from your disjointed mental struggles?

“Worse than that, though, was the idea that God’s arrangement of things had left me as one of the ones who didn’t get handouts or freebies.  In a frame of awareness that includes human trafficking, world hunger, and cervical cancer, this complaint is obviously ungrateful and petty. But there you have it.”

Um, yeah.  And in my humble opinion, Lisa writes this to give sanctification (in the guise of grace-discovery) to falling short of her last title: Saving My First Kiss, after its publication.  Grace doesn’t require publication, and it certainly doesn’t need this book, despite its title.

My thanks to Tyndale House Publishing, for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my uninhibited review.  You are welcome to join their team!

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