Whats so amazing about Grace

What’s So Amazing About Grace?
Philip Yancey, Zondervan, 2005

£20.00 (Approx)
4.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

It’s one thing to talk about grace; it’s another to taste its power.

What’s So Amazing about Grace? Small Group Edition DVD takes your group through gut-level encounters with radical, life-changing grace. Through candid video interviews, Philip Yancey integrates true-life faces and experiences with ten powerful session that will rock your preconceptions, get your group thinking and talking, and help you discover together why grace is more amazing than you’ve ever dreamed.

What do you get and how?

DVD including Leader’s Guide and Participant’s Guide, large A5 format, available separately. Ten sessions:

  1. The Missing Ingredient: A Beautiful Word, a Powerful Concept.
  2. Letting Grace Soak in: God’s Love for the Undeserving.
  3. An Unnatural Act: Extending Grace When You’ve Been Wronged.
  4. The Art of Forgiving: Responding with Grace When It Seems Impossible.
  5. Skin-Deep: The Power of Grace to Penetrate Racism.
  6. Grace Put to the Test: Grace in the Face of Disagreement.
  7. Grace Abuse: Cheapening Grace and Robbing Its Power.
  8. the Church Backslides: How Legalism Corrupts Grace.
  9. Dispensing Grace: How Can We Do It?.
  10. Counterforce: Grace Set Loose in the World.

60 minutes per session. Help for leaders included, plus information about other Zondervan products for small groups. Deals head-on with difficult topics such as forgiveness, racism, attitudes to homosexuality, legalism, politics. Yancey’s book of the same title is also recommended.

Who is it for?

Adults, Beginners, Growing Christians

Cost?

DVD: various prices, but around £12.00, Participant’s Guide £12.99 from www.amazon.co.uk

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Good quality DVD and books.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Very clear, including in the Participant's book which has summaries at the end of each session.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Clear and helpful. DVD contains 5 minute preparation for leaders, right down to the need for pens and Bibles; plus an 8 minute inspirational talk on ‘Leading a successful small group'. Each session works around an introductory thought, video presentation and closing remarks which are clearly indicated on the DVD. Detailed timings are given in the Leader's Guide but flexibility encouraged. Some of the group material is only in the Participant's Guide, but this is titled on the DVD with page numbers throughout.

    Who could lead it?

    The material is easy to use, but the subject is huge, and demanding. Not to be taken lightly, so a leader would need to be confident enough to deal with anything that might come up. Some of the powerful examples of grace given may well stir up reactions in the group. This is a carefully produced resource which deals with gritty reality. It should be embraced for exactly that reason, but a leader with sensitivity would be best.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Clear and attractive books with plenty of room for making notes, both on the DVD input and the outcome of discussions. Excellent, targeted questions which should be relevant to most people, exploring the subject of grace from theoretical and applied angles. Quotes from the DVD and extra stories included, plus suggestions for further reading in Yancey's book.

    How good is any digital material?

    Clear progressions through each section of input. Mix of Yancey talking against warm, relaxed background, and interviews with others who have grace stories to tell. Subsection titles guiding the way through. Powerful human stories included.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Strongly recommended that each session is previewed first. Reading the relevant chapters in the original book by Yancey What's So Amazing About Grace? Is suggested as well, though not essential.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Not directly, though author Yancey has a website which explores the subjects www.philipyancey.com

    Is it dated?

    No.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Very good interaction with mix of listening and discussing some potentially very challenging questions – the subject material of offering and receiving grace and forgiveness affects everyone.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Good mix of DVD watching, discussion and Bible study.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    See notes on Who could lead it. For most groups, this would be a challenging and really interesting resource. For those individuals who have significant damage in their history or lives, this could be liberating, if handled well within the group. Even though it is designed for reading and note-taking, it could be lead by just using the DVD, with a leader picking out questions. American background and examples are included, but situations are well known and principles transferable.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    The thoughtful questions should get everyone working out how the subject applies to them, together. Each session also has notes and questions to work through at home.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    33% directly as Bible study on the subjects.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    All based on a biblical understanding of grace and forgiveness, with each session's Bible study a main focus for this.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Implicitly and explicitly. This is all about everyday life. Deeply challenging and inspiring. Yancey does not let us off the hook, but his approach is honest and gentle. Indeed – he comes at his subject with grace.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Yancey describes his theology as evangelical but this resource should have broad appeal, and challenge those on all sides of Christian divides.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    Full acknowledgement that grace is a hard and ‘unnatural' impulse, and that both grace and forgiveness can take years of work. But plenty of inspiration that it is not only worth it, but a reflection of how God treats us and an imperative for the Christian life. Really good practical advice on learning how to forgive.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Examples from Bible and interviews make this a very practical resource. The questions are designed to help participants engage with the journey towards a new understanding of the power of grace.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    All based on a biblical understanding of grace and forgiveness, with an emphasis how counter-cultural it is to offer either. Yancey believes that grace is the key to the future of the church.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Brilliantly. This resource tackles some of the deepest questions of human relationships and attitudes. Very realistic.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a specific focus, but living as grace-giving people is a reflection of how Jesus lived. It is argued that grace is so unusual, it gets attention.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Mostly tackled through session 9 which focuses on politics and grace. But treating people with radical grace is the theme throughout.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Big issues such as forgiveness, racism, attitudes to homosexuality are tackled, all from the standpoint of offering grace. Examples and stories used come from all around the world.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus, but has a global perspective on the subjects tackled.

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