IT'S A GOD THING: Pictures and Portraits of God's Grace

Luis Palau, Author, Mike Yorkey, With . Doubleday $16.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-49800-5

Popular evangelical preacher and author Palau appealingly covers well-worn territory in this compilation of inspirational stories. In his introduction, Palau distinguishes between his titular "pictures" and "portraits" by explaining that some of the vignettes are more like pictures, or snapshots, of God's concern with "short-term details," while others are portraits that demonstrate God's work in someone's life over a long period of time. Despite this distinction, each chapter is no more than four pages long, regardless of its scope. The brevity of these stories, as well as their feel-good subject matter (i.e., the much-needed check that appears in the mail, the mysterious stranger who disappears after doing a good deed, the urge to pray for someone at what turns out to be a moment of peril, etc.), makes this book palatable reading for those with the shortest of attention spans. Moreover, despite the author's unabashed evangelicalism—he often focuses on born-again experiences and distinguishes between the saved and the hellbound—his warm, folksy tone will probably appeal to nonevangelical readers. Sophisticated readers of all theological persuasions might suspect that Palau has taken liberties with these stories, perhaps even blurring the line between the truth and urban legend. Nevertheless, there is no reason to doubt his earnest desire to relay to a wide audience the amazing stories people have told him through the years. He does this very well, and even the most cynical reader will likely be moved. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
Open Ebook - 142 pages - 978-0-385-50482-9
Hardcover - 210 pages - 978-1-58724-137-6
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