The Flavor of Sovereign Grace


(I’ll tell you how to win a copy of this book at the end of the post)

Every book has a flavor.

Some books leave you grateful to God for His mercy, or in awe of His majesty. Other books stir your heart to pursue holiness or share the gospel. Some books leave you burdened under a great weight of guilt.

Tullian Tchividjian’s new book, Surprised By Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Sovereign Grace, is richly flavored with God’s sovereign grace.

The book stares long and hard at the book of Jonah, and traces the lines of God’s sovereign grace that run through Jonah’s life.

Jonah was a great prophet, Ninevah was a wicked Assyrian city. God commanded Jonah to call Ninevah to repentance. Jonah wasn’t too excited about preaching to a pagan sin city, and decided to make a break for it.

God should have crushed Jonah for his blatant disobedience. God should have crushed Ninevah for its incredible wickedness. But God is full of surprising, sovereign grace, and he extended that grace to Jonah. It was God’s grace that caused a vicious storm to hunt down Jonah. It was God’s grace that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. It was God’s grace that Jonah cried out for mercy.? It was God’s grace that gave Jonah a second opportunity for obedience, and it was God’s grace that Ninevah, an evil, Gentile city, was given the opportunity to repent.

Grace is for self-righteous sinners like Jonah, and for foul cities like Ninevah. The book of Jonah is thoroughly flavored with grace.

This grace is a picture of the grace every sinner receives in the gospel of Christ.

Jesus is really God’s “great wind”, his “mighty tempest” in response to human running and rebellion. Jesus is the storm. Jesus is God’s gracious intervention for those who are enslaved to themselves. (pg. 52)

Grace is not an opportunity to try harder. It’s an opportunity to marvel at God’s greatness and our weakness.

When we realize that he’s God and we’re not – that he’s massive and we’re minute – that’s all it takes for us to become a part of great and powerful God-things. (pg. 101)

The great strength of this book is that it looks at grace from a fresh perspective. In our Christian ghettos, grace is a word that gets tossed around rather casually. I recommend Surprised by Grace to all those who feel that they’ve become overly familiar with grace. To those who need to be freshly surprised by grace.

You can purchase it on Amazon.

To win this book, leave a comment saying something along the lines of, “I would gladly sell all my possessions if I could own a copy of this book.” I’ll randomly pick a winner.

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I’m married to Jen, and I have three kids. I know a lot about Star Wars, and I live in a van down by the river. I’ve also written a number of books, which people seem to like.


  1. Kristen says

    I would gladly sell all my nail polish if I could own a copy of this book.

    Seriously, though. I love this blog. Always challenging and encouraging! And after reading the excerpts above, whether I win or lose, I am going to have to get a copy of this book!

  2. Elizabeth says

    Rave reviews certainly abound concerning this title. I'm in the ranks of those who would love an opportunity to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity!

  3. says

    I will shave my head to read this book. Coincidentally, God has decided for me to not grow hair past the age of 23. Either way, this head will be shaved for a copy of book.

  4. Joshua Clark says

    I would sell with joy my belongings (including my beloved cd collection of Josh Groban) to obtain this book. :]

  5. Keith Myer says

    I’ll learn how to pronounce the author’s name instead of mangling it every time i talk about him if I win a copy.

  6. Michael says

    I'd be very "surprised" if I win this book. I''m all the time subscribing to blogs, posting comments, etc….trying to win books. Hope this is my time!

  7. says

    Since I don't deserve anything, it would be marvelous grace to get free copy of this book! (thank you for graciously offering it either way!)

  8. says

    I am in the process of selling (and giving away and throwing away) many of our possessions to go to Madagascar as missionaries. If I win this book, I will read it, and then give it away or sell it. But I won't throw it away. If it's as good as it sounds, I might even take it with me.

  9. says

    I would even do the things people won’t even do for a Klondike bar for this book. Wrestle a wildebeast? Sure. Play chicken against a train? You bet. Jump out of a flying plane after the parachute that is already falling? Why not! I’d do anything for this book. Go to a combination Hinn/Copeland “Get Healed and Get Rich” tent meeting? – * – Okay, I’d do _almost_ anything for this book.

  10. Christopher says

    I would gladly give up a day of fun with friends to sitdown and read this book and apply it to my life.

  11. Brandon says

    I wanna read this book more than I have ever wanted to read any other book. In the history of books this is one I most anticipate reading. (Other than the Bible of course).

  12. TIM VIRGO says

    If i sold all my stuff then i could probably afford to buy a copy so I’ll just ask nicely instead: Please may I win one? It would make me say, ‘Yay, I won!’ and isn’t that really nice to make someone say that?!

  13. says

    I would sell all my possessions if I had to for a copy of the Bible. However, I would still love to get a copy of this book too, which seems to be a good look at a part of that book, that is, Jonah.

  14. Lauren says

    I've counted up the cost…and decided that I would forsake my homework for a week in order to get this book. We all have to sacrifice something.

  15. says

    I'm actually getting rid of most of my possessions in order to move overseas! Giving them all away to the glory of God (and itemized deductions).

    I'd love to get this book for my daughter Grace who has been reading books in this vein for her speech and debate season (qualifying for National competition in five speeches this year).

    But I won't sell her to get the book ;-)

  16. Dave says

    I love God's grace and I love Jonah… I'd love to love this book too… If only I could get a copy…

  17. Paul says

    What does giving up my possessions have to do with grace? I'd be suprised if I gave up my possessions.

  18. says

    I wouldn’t do anything to win this nook because then it would be works, not grace. Oh. I just posted a reply to try to win it. Maybe I need to read it after all.

  19. KimC says

    Pick me! Pick me!! “I would gladly sell all my possessions if I could own a copy of this book.” Well…

  20. Richie says

    I would gladly receive this book in the mail and (evenutally) read it, were I to be 'randomly' chosen.

  21. Ricks says

    To be chosen I will only think positive thoughts and give it up to the universe.
    Oh … sorry, wrong blog.

  22. says

    I would love to be entrusted with this copy and then to forward it on to lots of others for their encouragement and growth! Great blog

  23. Ariane says

    I would gladly sell my adorable-slightly-obese-never-listens-to-me bulldog if I could own a copy of this book! Ok, that's not exactly true as I love her to pieces! I mean so what if she has had one too many treats or the fact that she never listens to me no matter what I say….no ones perfect and seriously….who am I to judge!!??
    But, for this book, I might be willing to let you borrow my adorable-slightly-obese-never-listens-to-me bulldog for like an hour. Does that count??

  24. Nate says

    I am unwilling to sell anything for the book, but I like free stuff, especially free stuff that's good for my soul.

  25. Erik H. says

    I will gladly sell all of your DVD's and give the money to a store so please pick me as the winner.

  26. says

    I'd not hold on to earthly things for they all pass in the blink of an eye. But the lessons learnt from God's word through this book is definitely worth holding on to.

    If you choose my comment, I'd know a small number of people I could share this book with! Only thing is you'd have to ship it all the way to Borneo Island. We don't get very much Christian books in my country. It would be quite a blessing.

  27. says

    This book would be a blessing to my soul. I don’t own any of his books (yet) but I follow him on Twitter and his tweets are an encouragement. I can only imagine what the book would be!

  28. says

    I would gladly track down Paul McCartney and interview him on "What internationally famous gazillionaire rockstars can learn from Mark Altrogge" if I won this book. I would also read it.

  29. Steve Gregory says

    Would love to have a copy of this book. I would only sell all my possessions though for God's Word alone.

  30. DustinB says

    I was Suprised by Grace…therefore I have alot in common with this book!…so I maybe I will be Suprised by winning it…therefore Suprised by Grace again….;)


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