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SCANDALOUS GRACE: Experience the Liberating and Tantalizing Realities of Divine Grace

Julie Ann Barnhill, Author . Tyndale $12.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8423-8297-7

Witty, acerbic and genuinely entertaining, Barnhill's newest comedic/inspirational work will please her many fans. Barnhill, a speaker and author (She's Gonna Blow! ; 'Til Debt Do Us Part ) whose style recalls that of another Christian comedian, Chonda Pierce, combines hysterical body-image foibles with underlying spiritual parallels. These spiritual connections, however, can be faint, which is the book's only glaring weak point. Women readers will laugh and cry happy tears throughout, as they find themselves nodding in agreement with many of Barnhill's quirky issues regarding self-acceptance and self-doubt. She wonders, what if women woke up one day and never thought once about weight issues, ate whenever hungry and felt no guilt for said eating? Barnhill's in-your-face approach is one of shared pain, for she readily lays bare all of her own insecurities: for example, she admits to harboring green-eyed jealousy toward the "other woman," i.e., any woman deemed thinner, richer, smarter or prettier than she. Yet, Barnhill says, God's scandalously extravagant grace is sufficient to heal every woman's inner wounds, thereby granting spiritual and emotional freedom. The book is highly entertaining; Barnhill is particularly amusing as she cites her decision to undergo a breast reduction in 1991, praying to God that she wouldn't die under the knife (she was scared witless that her obituary would read "Death by Breast Reduction"). Barnhill offers simple, yet helpful, self-esteem messages to show women that God already loves and accepts them as they are. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/10/2003
Release date: 12/01/2003
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