A couple of years ago I met Preston Sprinkle at the Audiofeeed festival and have read his previous book, “Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence”. When I got a chance to pick up his new book, “Charis” I did just because I thought his non-violence book was pretty good.
“Charis” is a book about the gift of God’s grace. As the author himself says, do we really need another book on grace? The quick answer, after reading this book, is yes. Sprinkle opens the book by saying that God gave the gift of grace to a cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer. Bam! he had me right there. (Previously in this blog I wrote about a song by a band called Roomful of Walters called “Jeffrey Dahmer Went to Heaven.) In this book Sprinkle does a study of grace in the Old Testament, writing in an earthy style that is very compelling.
This year I have taken an interest in the fight against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of girls. Sprinkle writes about God’s grace being extended to prostitutes that I would like to quote here as I think it is extremely relevant to a victim of human trafficking:
The Bible certainly doesn’t approve of sexual immorality or prostitution, but in line with the dictum that God loves the sinner and hates the sin, God finds great pleasure in extending grace to sexually immoral people.
There’s just something about prostitution that makes it a powerful backdrop for grace. Many streams of sin, pain, loneliness, and guilt collide when a woman rents out her body for sex with a man she’ll never see again. Or maybe she will. Prostitution is the epitome of depravity and the pinnacle of pain.
There is hope and healing and grace…no matter how dire the past. That is the message of this book.
In another chapter Sprinkle talks about God being tattooed. Like the author I would like to get tattooed but my wife won’t let me. Sprinkle’s source for this assertion is Isaiah 49:16: Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
I gotta go…read the book.