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Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in Our Weakness

Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in Our Weakness
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Duguid, Barbara R.

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Listen to an episode of Reformed Forum featuring Barbara Duguid entitled Extravagant Grace.

Publisher’s Description

Why do Christians—even mature Christians—still sin so often? Why doesn’t God set us free? We seem to notice more sin in our lives all the time, and we wonder if our progress is a constant disappointment to God. Where is the joy and peace we read about in the Bible?

Barbara Duguid turns to the writings of John Newton to teach us God’s purpose for our failure and guilt—and to help us adjust our expectations of ourselves. Her empathetic, honest approach, candidly incorporating illustrations from her own struggles, lifts our focus from our own performance back to the God who is bigger than our failures—and who uses them for his glory. Rediscover how God’s extravagant grace makes the gospel once again feel like the good news it truly is!

Includes a Foreword by Iain Duguid

About the Author

Barbara Duguid is a counselor and ministry assistant at Christ Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Grove City, Pennsylvania, where she crafts the weekly liturgy. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of six children, and she holds an advanced certificate in biblical counseling from the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania.

Book Details

237 Pages
Publisher: P&R Publishing Company
Publication Date: August 2013
ISBN 10: 1596384492
ISBN 13: 9781596384491

“In this fine book, Barbara Duguid combines her love of church history, her enthusiasm for John Newton, her insights honed as a pastor’s wife and, above all, her love for Christ and his church. Here the reader will find sharp insights into the psychology of sin and sound practical advice on how the Bible speaks to the mundane rebellions of everyday human existence, The heart is indeed restless above all things; Barbara Duguid ably directs us to where we can find rest: in Christ alone.”
– Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary; Pastor, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC) Ambler, PA

“Consider this: What if growing in grace is more about humility, dependence, and exalting Christ, than it is about defeating sin? No, this is not heresy; from that old pastor, John Newton, and Barbara Duguid, who takes and applies many of Newton’s thoughts in this book. This is deft and loving pastoral care. If you are earnest in your desire to follow Jesus but wondering why you still feel like such a sinner, this is the perfect book for you.”
– Ed Welch, Counselor and Faculty member, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

“If only there were some secret—a strategy, an answer, a truth, a fix—to end all the awkward struggle in life! But nothing this side of the return of the King can make life easy. Even the saints in heaven cry, “How long?” There is a way to live, however, that learns to struggle well through the wrongs inside us and around us. Barb Duguid struggles well. She has learned well from another lifelong struggler, John Newton. Both of them learned well from the the Man of sorrows and grace. He knows our weaknesses first hand. He loved us to the uttermost. He is loving us now. He will love us forever. Take this book to heart. It will sustain you for the long haul, long after the hyped up panaceas and utopias fail.”
– David Powlison, Counselor and Faculty member, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

“People often ask me how it is that my faith has become so “gospel centered” and I always respond, ‘I had a group of friends who kept teaching me about Jesus, even though I didm’t want to hear it.’ Barbara Duguid is the primary friend to whom I owe greatest thanks for her loving persistence with me. Barbara is qualified to bring you a message of extravagant grace because she has drunk deeply of it herself. She knows that, along with John Newton, she is a great sinner who has a great Savior and it is this message of God’s mercy to undeserving sinners that will encourage you to live in the light of the sweetest news ever heard: ‘He died for a wretch like me!’ Buy this book. Buy one for a friend and live in the freedom that only the good news of the gospel can bring.”
– Elyse Fitzpatrick, author, Idols of the Heart; Conference speaker

“I know Barb Duguid up close, as a friend who with her family swooped in to be God’s hands and heart to our family in a time of need. Her wise counsel was always backed up by a rich experiential knowledge of God’s amazing grace—and unrelenting compassion. Weaving together the delightful insights of John Newton with her own experience—and that of many people she’s counseled over the years, Barb tells the story of God’s unrelenting compassion toward sinners like us with profound wisdom. How amazing is grace? Like Newton, she has learned well the answer to that question from the greatest story–teller of all.”
– Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“John Newton was such a good pastor, because he understood so well sin, suffering, and the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. His soul–care wisdom is available in his letters, hymns, and sermons, but they compose six volumes. So it helps to hear from those who are familiar with his work, summarizing it in light of their own faith journey. Barb Duguid has done today’s church a great service by sharing with us her fine overview of Newton’s understanding of the Christian soul. Feast, be encouraged, and be built up.”
- Eric Johnson, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Society for Christian Psychology

“Stay away from this book. If you buy it, don’t read it. Barb Duguid makes idolatry too nauseating, grace too promiscuous, the Trinity too omnipotent, Christian experience too diverse, sanctification too scary, and sovereignty too comforting. On the other hand, it could be a holy temptation...yielding may be no sin.”
– Dale Ralph Davis, Teaching Pastor, Woodland Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, MS

“Thank–you, thank–you for writing such a great book! The way many Christians think about sanctification is, well, not very sanctified. In fact, it’s downright narcissistic. We think way too much about how we’re doing, if we’re growing, whether we’re doing it right or not. We spend too much time brooding over our failures and reflecting on our successes. What I’ve discovered is that the more I focus on my need to get better, the worse I actually get. I become self–absorbed which is the exact opposite of how the Bible describes what it means to be sanctified. This is why I was shouting ‘yes, yes’ again and again as I read Barbara’s excellent book. Mining the treasures of John Newton’s letters, Barbara writes, ‘God thinks that you will actually come to know and love him better as a desperate and weak sinner in continual need of grace than you would as a triumphant Christian warrior who wins each and every battle against sin.’ Amen! Over and over again Barbara reminds us that spiritual growth is realizing how utterly dependent we are on Christ’s cross and mercy. It’s not arriving at some point where we need Jesus less and less because we’re getting better and better. In fact, she shows that Christian growth is not ‘I’m becoming stronger and stronger, more and more competent everyday.’ Rather, it is ‘I’m becoming increasingly aware of just how weak and incompetent I am and how strong and competent Jesus continues to be for me.’ I cannot commend this book enough. We need more and more books like this which remind us that the focus of the Christian faith is not the life of the Christian, but Christ.”
– Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; author, Jesus + Nothing = Everything