• A focus on the Christian spiritual life from the perspective of grace, not works • Popular new and emerging author • Study guide included for personal or small group reflection
Jesus was quite clear that we must lose our life before we find it. This book gives a hopeful and realistic look at what losing our life entails, articulating how "growth" in the Christian life is not our ascent to God but the process by which our eyes are opened to the beauty God has already given to us. It is a book about descending into God, and into our own inner depths, about the deep waters of the Christian faith. "Put out into the deep and let your nets down for a catch." (Luke 5:4)
We live in a world that values productivity and success, and we vainly imagine that God expects us to be spiritually productive and successful, too. It doesn't matter how much we talk about grace, our conversation is often narrowly focused on what we need to do for God—so much so that we often block the work God longs to do in us. This book does not articulate God's work as a process by which we become spiritually strong, but rather as the process by which we embrace our weakness as the place where we most fully experience God's perfect strength (2 Corinthians 12:9).
John Newton is Chief of Staff in the Diocese of Texas. He holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Virginia Theological Seminary. Newton is passionate about Christian formation and enjoys a ministry of preaching and teaching throughout the Diocese of Texas. The author of New Clothes: Putting on Christ and Finding Ourselves (2014) and Falling Into Grace: Exploring Our Inner Life with God (2016), he lives in Houston, Texas. Follow him at http://www.cruci-formation.com/
“John Newton challenges and disrupts in this book. He uses story, scripture, and emotional insight to challenge what we think we know, what we believe, and how we show up in our faith and in our daily lives. Falling into Grace isn’t theory––it’s a powerful call to action.”
––Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW
“Not only does this book deal with the big spiritual issues, but it deals with them in a big way! John Newton uses scripture, good psychology, along with knowledge of primary sources to write in a compelling and very readable way. Read and be led further on a very fine spiritual journey!”
––Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M.
“With the voice of a wise and firm spiritual director, John Newton challenges readers to recognize the dynamics of shame and anger that close us off from accepting God’s offensive and lavish grace. Newton calls on Merton and movies, retells biblical stories with insight, and offers profound and down-to-earth counsel for those who long to deepen their inner life with God.”
––The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Seminary of the Southwest
“John Newton has given us an extraordinary gift in Falling Into Grace. Which is ironic for a book that radiates such humility and open-handed vulnerability (not to mention a blessed disinterest in egocentric words like ‘extraordinary’). With astonishing ingenuity, clarity and warmth, John opens to us afresh that most precious and urgent of subjects, namely, the healing power of God's grace. It’s gut-level stuff, full of hope and heart, yet brimming with the sort of quiet sophistication and psychological acuity that will have readers falling back into it again and again. Bravo!”
––David Zahl, editor of The Mockingbird Blog and author of A Mess of Help
“John Newton has written a wise, reliable, and skillful guide to total dependence on God as a relinquishing of control, relying on God’s mercy, and marveling at the vulnerability of resurrected life through the cross. The gift of redemptive suffering––first God’s, then our own––provides the necessary rejoinder and antidote to our culture of would-be accomplishment. Here, as Newton insists, is the spirit and faith of Jesus and of St. Paul: ‘whenever I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor. 12:10)”!