The Grace Effect

"The judeo-Christian tradition has formed us in the west; we are bound to it by ties which may often be invisible, but which are there nonetheless. It has formed the shape of our secularism; it has formed even the shape of modern atheism"
                                            - Flannery O'Connor in Mystery and Manners

It's rare that I give a book 10/10 but along with 'Why God Won't Go Away' this is one of my new favourite books.

The Grace Effect by christian apologist Larry Taunton, is a fantastic story contrasting the very Christian influenced 'west' (most specifically America) with the historically secular society of the former Soviet Union.

I love the Flannery O'Connor quote above, which Larry explores in the final chapter of the book, pointing out that the 'new atheists' benefit largely from a common grace which is found in historically Christian societies, which is why you never find the likes of Dawkins living in a Muslim country, or a communist regime - they wouldn't last long!

But this book is much more than just an apology for the Christian faith. It's the journey of a family as they adopt one of the 'besprizornye' ('ones without oversight') from Ukrainian orphanage #17.
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"Two competing policies on adoption, both bad, within the same government. At the national level, the government, trying to make Ukraine look as attractive as possible to the EU, wants to hide the plight of their vast orphan population rather than solve it; at a municipal and regional level, a corrupt bureaucracy seeks to parlay foreign interest in Ukrainian orphans into a profitable industry. Conveniently, the propaganda about international adoptions is used (generated?) to the advantage of both - by one to deny adoptions, by the other as leverage for more money from those who want to adopt."

This book is a must read for anyone considering international adoption, specifically from Russia or Ukraine. Despite having read about the Russian adoption process before, following each step in chronological order as the Taunton's go through it really helped me get my head around the legal system there in a much clearer way.

Prepare yourself for long waits, fruitless bribes, indifference and condescension, but to be astounded that it is 100% worth it, to bring one of the world's "least" into a loving family, a society of common grace, and most importantly a place of hearing and seeing the gospel.

Here's what the author had to say about the book:


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