GRACENOMICS by Mike Foster

Format: Digital PDF – review copy

Mike Foster is a nice dude. Mike Foster is a humble dude too. I’ve been enjoying his writing since Deadly Viper first emerged, and watched as he and Jud Wilhite closed down that format of their ministry in response to concerns from some fellow Christians that their use of asian culture was misrepresentative and offensive.

At the time, I was angry that they had been “forced” to close it down, but over time I have seen the beauty of their actions. But having read Mike’s latest book, I’m going even further and seeing the point of view of those offended and am even more grateful for the example of grace that these two guys embodied. GRACENOMICS is about the economy of grace, and the great blessing it is when we live as “the Red Cross relief team for the disasters in people’s personal lives. We’re setting out to be the living, breathing PEZ dispensers of grace for our world.” (p.12)

GRACENOMICS is basically a primer on and call to arms for People of the Second Chance. And POTSC is all about extending radical grace to people in all of our lives. Radical grace is the kind of grace that caused Paul to write things like:

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! (Romans 6:15 ESV)

Is the grace we offer to people ever so full that we get accused of being permissive of sin? Because if our grace has clear limits, it isn’t gracious enough. One of the interesting things about this book is that it lacks any explicit tie to Christian theology. It is aimed at all people, in all walks, and as such would be a great tool for discussion in the business world where ideas tied to one specific faith can be dismissed all too easily. But when you start dealing with grace and forgiveness, especially as a Christian, you will find so many opportunities to take it to the cross and talk about the ultimate reconciliation that our human efforts are merely pointing towards.

I’ll tell you, right off the bat, there are some things Mike writes that I question, most notably that “PEOPLE ARE NOT EVIL, THEY ARE WEAK.” (p.70) But even here, where I have some theological misgivings about that statement, I am extending grace to Mr. Foster (earlier on the page he tempers the concept with a “maybe”). Mostly I’m just accepting this book is not a systematic theology. This book is the opening shot of a conversation that is meant to be continued in community and lived out. If we all put this radical grace into action, and if we all reject the “vulture culture” mentality, then we will begin to see transformation.

Mike – thanks for being so forthright with your own failures, and being so direct in the challenge to offer a new economy to people, one designed to give more than we take. The book releases on October 5th, and you can preorder it at POTSC Store.

A review copy was provided to me at no charge by the publisher. No attempt was made to gain a favorable review, and all opinions and recommendations expressed are the author’s own.