Reader-Submitted Review: Geography of Grace by Joel Van Dyke and Kris Rocke, reviewed by Joe Kamphuis


Does grace have a geography? This is the question Joel Van Dyke and Kris Rocke ask in their illuminating new book Geography of Grace: Doing Theology from Below.

The authors posit two theories based on over 20 years of conversation with grassroots leaders who work among “the least, the last, and the lost.” First, “grace is like water—it flows downhill and pools up in the lowest places.” Second, “if we are going to test the limits of grace, we must be willing to be wrong.” We must be willing to be wrong; I believe this is the position that challenges us most in the North American context. However, I also believe if we are going to reclaim the ability to preach the good news to a world that God deeply loves, then we must be willing to consider the possibility that we might be wrong; wrong in both our understanding of the gospel as well as its practice (in both word and deed).

This was an incredibly stimulating read. I felt myself being challenged and affirmed in ways I never suspected, and in the end I felt the joy of the freedom God’s grace gives us to be wrong. I encourage anyone who is serious about becoming missional to pick up this book and consider deeply the challenges it presents based on the actual practice of ministry from those who humbly serve “the last, the least, and the lost” in Jesus’ name. (Center for Transforming Missions)

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