Book Review: Grace is Free
Grace is Free by Marci Preheim is a little book that God providentially used to have a big impact in my life.
My first reading of this book had me in tears after the first chapter and I felt as if the weight of an invisible burden had been lifted.
I felt as if I could breathe and it was as if I had made a friend in Marci even though she lived an ocean apart from me. C.S. Lewis’ words about friendship came to mind - ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’
I was shackled and held captive by my inner legalist. Marci Preheim understood this. She confronts self-righteous Christianity that is characterised by to-do lists, behaviourism, living up to man-made expectations of 'godliness' and striving for perfectionism bound up in a set of rules and the subtle competing with one another when it comes to the spiritual disciplines.
Her pastor, Byron Yawn writes the foreword. These are his opening remarks:
‘Our women are in bondage to a form of perfectionism that the
church has encouraged through unrealistic expectations.’
He goes on to make the observation that this pressure of performance and feminized brand of moralism has resulted in ‘mechanical, burdensome and joyless womanhood which drones on, having forgotten that the one thing which arises above all her duties and gives them all meaning –Jesus Christ.’
Marci’s premise for the book is her own personal experience. ‘My whole life I’ve watched women fall into the same quagmire of conformity. I’m not talking about biblical conformity to the image of Christ, but conformity to an unwritten code of some elusive “godly woman” that doesn’t exist.’
Grace is Free unmasks the burden and bondage of living with needing people’s approval and helps women to understand what it means to truly abide in Christ, and in faith to rest in what He accomplished for us. Marci Preheim succeeds in giving the reader hope with her refreshing openness, transparency, honesty, truth and contagious love for Jesus and His Gospel.
‘If organization and domestic genius were prerequisites for godliness,
then Martha Stewart would be one of the godliest women in the world.’
‘The result of Marci’s book has been a true women’s-liberation movement. Unlike the ugly outcomes of past movements, the women in this one are not rebelling against the constraints of their God-given roles, but are embracing them in the freedom that can only come from the personal application of the cross of Christ.’ [Byron Yawn]
Through tears of humble relief, your heart will soar as you truly come to realise that Grace is free. Marci Preheim is not telling us something new, but reminding us of a beautiful biblical truth that we seem to have forgotten. You will begin to grasp what it means to live by grace after you have been saved by grace.
This little book is a radical and necessary read for our time.
With application and discussion questions at the end of each chapter, Grace is Free is not only ideal as a personal read but also as a group study.
You can download and read a sample of Grace is Free by clicking on this link: