The God Impulse: The Power of Mercy in an Unmerciful World

Reviewed by: Connor Salter, Professional Writing student at Taylor University, Upland, IN.



The world seems to be growing more and more chaotic, and some say religion is only making the situation worse. Jack Alexander argues in this book that actually Christianity has the key to bringing reconciliation and harmony to people, but it requires something unusual: mercy. Not blind mercy; instead, this is a mercy paired with truth (or as he puts it throughout the book, “truth marinated in mercy”), a mercy that strives to be relational. Alexander then describes the four steps Jesus used to give mercy (seeing and feeling an impulse to give mercy, discovering how best to give mercy, doing services that provide mercy, and enduring the long-haul work that true mercy often requires) and how people can follow these steps.

Mercy sounds like a soft and simple concept, and therefore it’s easy to write books about mercy that sound great but don’t give much. But in this book, Alexander takes the less-traveled route here and describes how hard giving mercy can be. He uses personal stories to describe how challenged and counter-intuitive it can seem to give mercy, and how sometimes mercy really involves not helping people who aren’t ready to receive help. At the same time, he shows throughout the book that these challenges are what make relationally based mercy so powerful. This honesty makes the book powerful and unusually compelling. This is a highly relevant look at what it means to give mercy the way God gives it.



Rating (1 out of 5 stars)

4 stars


Suggested Audience

Christians trying to learn how to improve their communities, Christians interested in how important mercy is to the Christian faith and our ability to impact the world.


Christian Impact

This book will give people practical advice on how to really give mercy in a way that changes everyone involved, including the people giving it.


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The God Impulse: The Power of Mercy in an Unmerciful World

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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