Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Grace Effect by Larry Alex Taunton

The Grace Effect: How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
I felt like this book was telling two different stories.
The author begins by letting us know that he is friends with Christopher Hitchens and that they discuss and debate Christianity vs. athiesm together. Then, he goes on to tell the story of his family adopting a little girl from an orphanage in the Ukraine.
He tries to sell the point that the Ukraine is an unfriendly corrupt country due to the influence of athiestic socialism - which may be true, and that the US is a friendly, loving, non-corrupt country due to the Christian influence. I think that might be a debatable point to many people.

I really enjoyed his story about his daughter's adoption and all that they went through in order to adopt her.
I found his version of Ukranian history interesting and humerous - especially the part where Prince Vladimir crossed his legs after hearing about the Jewish practice of circumcision, decided not to chose the Muslim religion since they did not allow vodka and picked Greek Orthodoxy since he could keep his nether regions intact and drink vodka and because he had heard tales of how beautiful the Haigia Sophia was.
I also thought it was funny that they have a bumper sticker with a high heeled boot on it on cars with women drivers to warn other drivers in the Ukraine.

The book is well written and interesting and I enjoyed his story about adopting his daughter, but I think that there are many people who would disagree with his concept of the "Grace Effect" of the Christian religion on society. I don't think he gives much support to that concept.  If being a Christian nation makes us less corrupt and more polite and caring, then what about what happened in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit - how horribly people behaved, compared to how civilized and polite the Japanese were during and after the recent earthquake and nuclear meltdown?  I don't think that the "Grace Effect" helped the Americans to behave well and the Japanese who behaved so much better are not Christians.  I am not sure that the US government is any less corrupt than that of the Ukraine - they just admit it and have it out in the open and we hide it.  I don't think that the "grace effect" has eradicated slavery and treating other people badly in the US - we just hide that better too.  There are plenty of slaves in the US; most of them picking produce and most of them don't speak English and are not here legally. We don't see them or know about them so that makes it ok.  And our whole society is built on products that are made by people who live in slavery or sub-standard conditions in other countries.  But since we don't know about it, we don't feel responsible for it.  That "grace effect" just seems to hide things, not make them go away.
I got this book free to review from Booksneeze.

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