Yesterday morning, I opened up The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton. And I had to finish. Since there were lots of other things I had to take care of during the day, I read the book in spurts, but I finished nonetheless. At just over 200 pages, it is a quick read.
Larry Taunton is a Christian apologist who, inspired by his family's experience adopting a daughter from the Ukraine, explores what society would look like if atheists had their way and what grace has to do with it all. Long story short, a society without God, without Christ, is a society devoid of grace. A world without grace has no hope for survival and no reason to care.
Larry begins the book by stating that he not attempting to prove the existence of God nor to defend religion. He says he is writing the book "with the layperson in mind" to explain why the world needs Christianity, yet it seemed to me that he used quite a few complex words and phrases when there were simpler ways to explain it. Although, I really appreciated the mini history lessons throughout the book. He has a way of re-telling history that makes it engaging and sometimes comical.
The subtitle of the book is "How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief". I can't give the end away, but I can tell you that Sasha was raised in Ukrainian orphanages for her whole life. The conditions that Larry describes in the orphanage itself are criminal. In the Ukraine, there is an overall negative attitude towards orphans, and others in need, including the elderly and disabled. It is an attitude that is difficult for our American society to understand because our country was founded with a reverence for and acknowledgement of God and His Providence. Even a non-Christian or an atheist in America benefits from "common grace" in our society. The Ukraine, however, has a long history of communism and socialism; for the most part, their worldview is atheistic. When man lives as though there is no God watching what he is doing, and his country supports that view and demands reverence only to the government, the corruption and inhumanity can spread pretty rapidly.
Larry's argument is that the greatest crimes against humanity are committed by those countries that are, basically Godless. When Christianity is banned, the "grace effect" or "common grace" does not exist, making that society harsh and cruel. The picture of Sasha as a girl living in such a world and receiving grace is very touching.
I became so engrossed in the adoption story that I ended up skipping ahead to see what happened. Not only is it a powerful story, I feel like I have learned a lot and am more informed than before on atheism and socialism. This is a book review, and again, I don't want to ruin the end. I encourage anyone who has questions about atheism, socialism, international adoption or the necessity of grace to read this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.