October 24th, 2008
Kraus, Harry M.D. Breathing Grace: What You Need More than Your Next Breath. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007. 173 pp. $19.99.
While this may have been Dr. Kraus’ first of two non-fiction books, it is the second one I have read/reviewed. After reading The Cure, and being impressed by Kraus’ writing style and message, I was intrigued by what he had to say in this book. With the author’s permission, I obtained Breathing Grace for the sole purpose of writing this review to introduce once again Harry Kraus to the reader. Even though I was reading it for a review, I found that I was greatly ministered to by reading it.
Once again, Dr. Kraus uses the two things he knows best and loves: medicine and his relationship with Jesus Christ, to cut straight to the heart. In this book, the metaphor used is explicit in the title. Just as if one is alive he must continue to breathe so too must a Christian live a life of grace. Therefore, breathing makes the perfect metaphor for the importance of grace in the Christian’s life.
Dr. Kraus gives us the medical ABC’s that all medical students are taught when attempting to help a patient who is dying: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. He then shows how we can apply the ABC’s to breathing in the grace necessary for our next breath. We must first acknowledge our need of God’s grace. Next, we need to continue to believe the gospel. It is not just a one-time “I believe” message. The gospel is for unbelievers and believers alike. For unbelievers, the gospel saves. For believers, the gospel sustains. Finally, we must commune with God. Steady communion with God is necessary for us to continue living a grace-centered life.
While he does use medical jargon quite often, he explains what it all means. Once again, Dr. Kraus writes with a passion for grace and love and mercy evident on every page. He draws from real life experience and a deep walk of faith with Jesus Christ. This book is a must own for those who want to see what it means to live your life on grace. The study questions at the end of each chapter enable this book to be studied by a group of believers—especially a group of newer believers. Regardless of how long you have been a believer, this book will cause you to want to become closer to God than ever before.