One of the highlights of the 2009 ACFW National Conference (at least, for me) was the morning that Dr. Harry Kraus was asked to give a devotion. Part of the reason why was because of the story he initially told (which puts me off from ever patronizing Jamba Juice). Part of it was that his devotion seemed a bit more ... well, devotional than others. But I really appreciated what he had to say.
So you can imagine how happy I was when I realized that one of the freebie books we got at the Conference was Dr. Kraus's Breathing Grace.
For the most part, the book didn't didn't disappoint. Dr. Kraus likens our need for grace with our physical need for oxygen. His central thesis is that far too many Christians operate with a "grace debt," one that leads to spiritual problems. In later chapters, Dr. Kraus diagnoses such spiritual problems and equates them with real medical conditions such as anemia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and sucking chest wounds.
Throughout the book, Dr. Kraus uses medical examples and stories from his practice both in the States and in Africa, where he works as a medical missionary. For the most part, the analogies are spot on (although a few of them left me scratching my head until he explained them in more depth). There were a few parts that caused my eyebrows to pop, but usually those parts could be explained by differing theological backgrounds (i.e. Lutherans define "means of grace" differently than Dr. Kraus does at one point).
It's a quick read, straight to the point, and definitely worth getting. I'm glad I got it for free, but I would have gladly paid money for it.
And that's it for ACFW books/freebies. I finally worked my way through the whole pile of books that I acquired in Denver one way or another. Well, that's not entirely true. There are two other books I got for free, but I read the first fifty pages of one and just could not get into it. And the other was a free romance novel by someone I don't know.
So it's on to the stack of research books I have for my next WIP. More on that in a few days.