cover image The Grace and Truth Paradox

The Grace and Truth Paradox

Randy Alcorn. Multnomah Publishers, $10.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-59052-065-9

Hate the sin but love the sinner is the gist of the paradox explored in this slender point-of-purchase book by minister Alcorn. The author of Deadline draws on his experiences of getting""proabortion"" activists, unbelieving academics and his""resistant"" father to see the light to argue that Christians must display grace--a spirit of humility, love and inclusion--while also insisting on the truth of Christian doctrine. Truth without grace, he asserts, yields a self-righteous Pharisaism, while grace without truth leads to""moral indifference"" and a dilution of Christ's message. Alcorn writes in a contemporary idiom, likening grace and truth to a binary star system or the twin strands of the DNA double helix. But his is a traditional evangelical outlook that combines Biblical literalism, hell-fire and a deep acknowledgment of personal sin. Alcorn registers his fundamentalist views on such topics as relativism on campus, the fallacy of Darwinism and Oprah Winfrey's""have-it-your-way designer religion."" But he also chides Christians for their holier-than-thou attitudes (""Jesus,"" he warrants,""would preach five sermons against self-righteous churches for every one against taverns"") and compares himself with evil-doers (""I am Dahmer. I am Mao"") in attesting to the fallen state of all humanity and their dependence on God's unmerited grace for salvation. Firm but forbearing, Alcorn's tract is a dose of old-time religion in a smooth modern formulation.