Never Beyond Hope: How God Touches & Uses Imperfect People

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9780830832729: Never Beyond Hope: How God Touches & Uses Imperfect People

Tied for a 2001 Best Non-Fiction Book, Christian Living award in the God Uses Ink Contest! If you get discouraged by your spiritual failures, you're not alone. In fact, you're in pretty good company. From the life and death of Samson to Peter's denial of Jesus, the Bible is filled with stories of people who wanted to serve God but frequently failed. And yet God still worked through these men and women for his purposes and glory. Through God's power, their points of weakness became their greatest strengths. In Never Beyond Hope J. I. Packer offers his pastoral wisdom, exploring the stories of eight imperfect people portrayed in the Bible. Packer shows you how their struggles and triumphs relate to your own experiences and highlights how God works despite your mistakes. Packer also teams up with expert Bible study writer Carolyn Nystrom, who helps you process and apply what you are learning in each chapter with study questions for personal reflection or group discussion, prayer suggestions and journaling ideas. Let this book help you discover that God's vision for your life may be far bigger than what you can see right now. Though you may be far from perfect, remember that in God's eyes you are never beyond hope.

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About the Author:

J.I. Packer is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He is Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia and his writings include books such as Knowing God, A Quest for Godliness, Growing in Christ (Crossway) and Rediscovering Holiness. He has preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America and served as General Editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible published in 2001, and Theological Editor of the Study Bible version. In 2014, Packer was named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores. He is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today and has written numerous articles published in journals such as Churchman, SouthWestern Journal, Reformation & Revival Journal and Touchstone. He received a BA, MA and PhD from Oxford University.

Carolyn Nystrom (MA, Wheaton College) has written more than eighty books, Bible study guides and children's titles. She served as general editor for the Christian Classics series and she co-authored Guard Us, Guide Us and Praying with theologian J.I. Packer, and Before I Was Born (God's Design for Sex) with Sandra Speidel. In addition to actively serving in her church and community, she has been a foster parent, an elementary schoolteacher and a book editor. Carolyn lives in the Chicago area with her husband and they have four grown children.

From Publishers Weekly:

The introduction to this book takes the aphorism "While there's life, there's hope" and reverses it to "Only while there's hope is there life." Hope is a gift from God, Packer (an evangelical theologian at Regent College best known for Knowing God) and Nystrom (a writer of Bible study guides) state. The authors expound upon the implications of hope for "all problem people" by retelling the stories of eight biblical characters (Jacob, Manoah's wife, Samson, Jonah, Nehemiah, Martha, Thomas and Peter), emphasizing their particular flaws and the ways in which they were nevertheless used by God. If God can use defective people such as these, say the authors, there is hope for us as well. Packer and Nystrom cite the Biblical reference for each character's narrative frequently throughout each chapter, adding some paraphrasing, embellishment and quite a bit of interpretation. Sometimes they veer into sheer speculation, as when they criticize Manoah and his marriage. They extrapolate a great deal from only a few verses, and while their method is entertaining and effective in conveying their point about the characters' flaws, it flirts with inaccuracy. The text is always readable and often folksy, as when the authors describe Jacob as both "ambitious" and a "corner-cutter." (Apr.)
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