For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards

The popular writer, blogger, and television personality reveals with humor and style how Jesus’ extravagant grace is the key to dealing with life’s biggest challenge: people.

The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning first with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, live for, go to church with,

The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning first with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, live for, go to church with, don’t like, don’t understand, fear, struggle with, compare ourselves to, and judge. People are the best and worst thing about the human life.

Jen Hatmaker knows this all too well, and so she reveals how to practice kindness, grace, truthfulness, vision, and love to ourselves and those around us. By doing this, For the Love leads our generation to reimagine Jesus’ grace as a way of life, and it does it in a funny yet profound manner that Christian readers will love. Along the way, Hatmaker shows readers how to reclaim their prophetic voices and become Good News again to a hurting, polarized world.
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    Louise

    Aug 21, 2015

    rated it
    liked it

    Shelves:
    spirituality

    This book is worth more than 3 stars, but in light of all the 5-star reviews here and on Amazon (written by young bloggers, probably) I find myself compelled to provide a counterpoint. For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards is a fun stream-of-consciousness roller coaster ride through the rants and raves of a Jesus-loving, preacher’s wife and mother-of-5, sprinkled with a little minor celebrity glitz. It is, therefore, not what I expected.

    The book is truly funny, easy

    The book is truly funny, easy to read in small snatches and occasionally makes a great point of practical theology. (“If you can make a pot of chili and use a cell phone, then you can create community.” Or, “Anytime the rich and poor combine, we should listen to whoever has the least power.”) However, it is not what I expected because the title suckered me. I thought it was going to be a straight-up education about grace applied to ourselves primarily and others secondarily, something we all sorely need, whether we are coming from the get-your-life-in-line end of the spectrum or the let-it-all-hang-out end. But it’s not. After the wonderful Introduction, grace is never directly addressed again, and there are whole chapters which don’t even use the word. There IS a chapter on fashion, multiple chapters addressing pet peeves, Jen’s life in Facebook posts and several intricate recipes. Yes, there are a couple more serious chapters about missions (ala When Helping Hurts) and church leaders, but there is approximately one Bible reference (ok, I found three more in the second-to-last, confusing chapter encouraging women to lead more) and for a book touting grace, I felt kind of ragged on a few times.

    I could be the author’s mother (if I’d had a couple rough and/or promiscuous teen years), so there’s one other thing I’ve got to say: sometimes this good-hearted lady knows not of what she speaks. By her own admission she hasn’t been through a lot of hardships. She has a loving pastor-husband, five great kids who are still at home, and she and her friends cheer on one another’s published books, released CD’s and popular podcasts. Talk to me again when there’s only one of you working on your marriage, when your grown child has embraced atheism, when you’ve had a significant part of your body disfigured, or when your best friend or your dreams have died a slow death. Then you can write a serious book aimed at lifting burdens, explaining modern dilemmas or applying grace to self-condemnation. Until then, please adhere to truth in advertising by subtitling your book: Funny Blogs about Being a Middle-aged Christian Mom.

    Please buy this book (seriously, do) if you want to read some light yet inspiring Christian humor. Just don’t be fooled by the title like I was. And, Jen, when you decide to write the book you promised in the Introduction, I’ll stand in line for it.
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    Callie

    Aug 12, 2015

    rated it
    it was ok

    Shelves:
    read-in-2015

    It is rare that I actually end up reading a “trendy” book right at the height of it’s trendiness – but somehow I heard about Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love enough in advance that I am able to give a timely review of the “big book to read”, for once! You are welcome, my readers who like book reviews. I will try to work this out more often.

    To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book. Let’s start with the positive, shall we?

    Positives

    I have read so many good things about Jen Hatmaker, and know

    To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book. Let’s start with the positive, shall we?

    Positives

    I have read so many good things about Jen Hatmaker, and know so many people who declare her one of their favorite authors. After reading her book, I can understand why her writing is so popular. She has a great sense of humor, and that comes through in much of her writing. I found myself chuckling several times through this book, which is always a plus.

    The chapters honestly felt a little disconnected to me, but once I finished the book I could think back over this seemingly random assortment of topics and see the common thread. Several chapters also seem to be thrown in for the sheer humor, and I thought that added a fun aspect.

    Despite so much of the book being entertaining, I was pleasantly surprised by the snippets of wisdom included throughout, especially regarding relationships. I very much appreciated the chapters on calling (1 and 3), difficult people (18), and her letters to church attenders and leaders (22). All of these chapters gave me some insights and encouragement.

    Negatives

    There were a couple minor negatives that I am mostly going to gloss over (such as humor that bordered on too irreverent for me, too many references to drinking, and a minor disagreement about the role of parents in education), because there was one larger point that was more concerning to me that I would like to focus on.

    The book started to take a downward turn for me at about page 71, with a line about God measuring our “entire existence” by how we love God and love people. Although Christians should certainly do both, that is a very vague idea. Lots of people can “love God and love people” and still have no idea who Jesus is. I don’t think God measures our entire existence based on those two things – it is also supremely important what we believe about His Son.

    In chapter 13, Hatmaker starts talking about some of the recent statistics about the growing of the “nones”, people who claim no religious affiliation, and the decrease in people who identify themselves as Christians (Focus on the Family recently had a broadcast with a really good discussion of the statistics that gave me a better understanding of what is actually going on, for those who would like to know more).

    She then started talking about our post-modern culture, and how the younger generation is leaving the church. In her view, this is because the younger generation doesn’t like when people act like they know all the answers – they think “I don’t have all the answers, and neither do you”. I think that is true, but I don’t really like how Hatmaker suggests we handle it.

    She says the younger generation wants depth (which I don’t disagree with) and suggests pointing to Jesus (of course), but only references Him as the best “example”, and talks about His life’s “legacy”. It concerned me that she mentioned “the gospel” throughout this chapter, but never clearly spelled it out, and then only referred to Jesus in terms of His example and legacy. The gospel is so much more than that.

    We are not giving the younger generation, or anyone, “depth” if we are not talking about the reason Jesus came – and he didn’t just come to be a good example, He came as God in the flesh to die in our place as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. That is the gospel, that is depth, and it is beautiful, and I think we are losing the younger generation more because we are watering that down. They don’t need just a good example, they need the truth – and sure, no one has all the answers, but God does, and His word is truth. Unfortunately, I think Hatmaker’s book misses the mark on communicating these things, and that is a problem for me.

    (Also note, I so appreciated Matt Walsh’s perspective on the latest stats and why the church is losing the younger generation, which you can read here: “Maybe Christianity In America Is Dying Because It Is Boring Everyone To Death”.)

    Ironically, after ironing out all my feelings on this in my head, I sat down to finish the book and came to a chapter entitled “Dear Christians, Please Stop Being Lame”, in which she lightly scolds a (maybe) hypothetical Facebook commenter who expresses some of the concerns I mentioned above (although in a not-super-nice way).

    While the chapter’s overall point is valid (that we should love our brothers and sisters in Christ and that will show the world how we are different), Hatmaker seemed to suggest that concern or correction of wandering theology is not showing love to each other (I disagree with this).

    Now, certainly there is a right and wrong way to address these kind of concerns to someone, and it is important to do that in love – if you cannot address concerns lovingly, you should probably stay silent.

    (Also ironically, calling out your critics publicly in a book and talking about how they give you a migraine and you are becoming “intolerant”, presumably of their lack of love – pg. 190 – is not necessarily the most loving way to handle disagreement either).

    Hatmaker suggests the idea that trying to figure out “rightness and wrongness” is making people feel like outsiders, and then closes it up by suggesting “the highest level of ‘right theology’ involve[s] loving God and people like Jesus suggested” (pg. 195). I very much disagree with that, for all the reasons I mentioned in the above paragraphs.

    It is dangerous to suggest that we stop striving for right theology. Yes, there are some areas in God’s word that are peripheral and can be interpreted differently, and I agree that no one is going to get every point 100% right, but we should always be going back to the Bible to find the answers. God does give us answers to the important questions there, and right theology does lead to godly living (including “loving God and people”). To oversimplify “theology” like Hatmaker does takes a lot of the power out of it, and once again, many people can strive to “love God and people” and still not know Jesus.

    I hate to be the party pooper by picking apart a trendy book, and I am not trying to be overly harsh. From this book, I do think Hatmaker understands and believes the heart of the gospel, of what Jesus did in coming to die for our sins. However, I think she does a poor job (I’m sorry, that sounds harsh again) of communicating the core of our faith, probably because she mainly seems to be writing to believers. I think it is unfortunate that the opportunity to really explain the facts of the gospel was not seized. With as much buzz as this book is already getting, many non-believers are going to be reading it too, and possibly finding themselves confused about what they really need to do to be saved. I, unfortunately, cannot recommend For The Love for this reason.

    Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a review. This is my honest opinion.

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    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Mar 23, 2017

    rated it
    really liked it

    I listened to my first Jen Hatmaker book on audio. This was read by the author, which always adds to the audio experience for me. I could instantly tell why Jen’s books are so popular; she’s funny, sincere, and engaging. Some chapters I could have done without – like why women shouldn’t wear certain clothes (I’m not into judging what others are wearing), other chapters were inspiring, and the entire book was entertaining. I plan to listen to more of her books soon.