Join us for our Ladies Small Group Bible Study and Prayer. We will be reading and discussing Barbara Duguid's book Extravagant Grace.
Why is it that God does not instantaneously make us holy at the moment of our conversion? Why do we find ourselves repeatedly battling the same sins, often defeated, and seemingly making little progress?
These are some of the tough questions that Barbara Duguid tackles in her book. She approaches the topic of indwelling sin, sanctification and grace through the lens of John Newton’s writings. She clearly has a deep personal understanding of grace, anchored in solid biblical exegesis, the Reformed confessions, as well as her own experience, one shared by John Newton.
According to Duguid, we live in a Disney-deluded world in which we are taught to believe that we can be and do anything we please. But this make-believe fairy tale inevitably collides with reality. We are limited, weak and sinful people whose default mode it is to live for self. Just like the Barbie doll, we may look great on the outside, but our feet are not made to stand alone. We were made to stand in Christ alone. If we try on our own, we will fall. The message that God has even ordained each individual’s struggle with sin is freeing. “You will never be able to find steady joy in this life until you understand, submit to and even embrace the fact that you are weak and sinful …. You may think that you would actually bring God more glory through your strength and obedience than through failure. Yet the Sovereign Lord of the Universe appears to disagree with you. God is supremely interested in the glory of his Son and delights in the way that glory is revealed in his love for wicked people who continue to need his grace and mercy day after day” (p. 82).
What is so striking about this book is the way rich reflection on the grace of the gospel is blended with utter realism about our ongoing Christian struggles, as well as personal honesty from the author.