Hey friends! Today I'm really pumped to share an interview with Christine Hoover. Her first book, The Church Planting Wife, was a monumental game changer for me and I've listened closely since then because I so trust her heart. I got to read her new book, From Good to Grace, a little early and I soaked up every word and then shared it with friends as soon as I could.
You'll get to hear a little more in depth from her here about the process of writing it, but we have a sweet giveaway at the bottom that you won't want to miss! I made this custom canvas for Christine of Ephesians 2:1-5 and one of you will win a copy of Christine's book AND the canvas.
1. I'm learning that all great books start with a problem or a burden, what was the problem in the case of From Good to Grace?
The problem I address in this book is that many of us are living by a tweaked gospel and don’t even know it. We feel it. We feel the constant guilt and condemnation of not measuring up, we feel the pressure to always be better and to make ourselves change, and we feel weighted down with the burdens of our spiritual lives. These thoughts and feelings are not the outworkings of the true gospel but rather what I call the goodness gospel—this belief that we are saved by faith but our spiritual growth and fruit are up to us.
This is a prevalent belief and, in fact, was how I lived the first twenty years of my Christian life. I wrestled with spiritual perfectionism, attempting to be “good” for God but never believing I was loved by Him. I talk to enough women to know that this is a common experience, so I wrote this book to give words to what it’s like to live by the goodness gospel but also to share how the true gospel frees us from these burdens.
2. How did writing this book feel different than writing The Church Planting Wife?
Writing The Church Planting Wife was cathartic and helped me process what God has done in my heart through church planting and being a pastor’s wife. It was a privilege to share little nuggets that I’d learned from experience, but I think when I was writing it I questioned whether anyone would actually relate to it. I’ve taken great comfort in seeing that most church planting wives have similar experiences, at least at the heart level
When it came to writing From Good to Grace, I felt a greater weight of responsibility. This book wasn’t written as a theological textbook, but it is expressing foundation theological ideas in story form. I wanted to be biblically accurate, but I also wanted to awaken women to the freedom of the gospel by avoiding Christian cliches and dry, factual information. And how do you write a book on the gospel and grace and cover everything that needs to be covered? So you can see the dilemma and the weight of it. In the end, I wrote the book that God led me to write, and I hope He is pleased.
3. Did you learn anything unexpected while writing it?
Yes! I know that the gospel of grace has changed my life since the point 12 years ago when God began to reveal it to me through the book of Galatians. I’ve experienced the effects of letting grace sink in and well out. I’ve known what Scripture says about it. But in writing this book, all these things and more have been solidified and confirmed in my heart. I’ve learned that God’s grace is strong. Scripture is not just words on a page, the Holy Spirit is not just someone we learn about in church, grace is not just a story. We can put all our life’s weight onto His grace and trust that He can and will change and grow us to be who He wants us to be.
4. How do you picture women reading it and how do you picture them responding?
All along I have prayed that women who need to be freed from the goodness gospel would find their way to this book. I imagine that the woman eager for God’s love and grace will read it, finally have words for what she feels and thinks, and explode with joy at the freedom Christ has won her. I also picture women reading and processing it together, because I think the burdens of the goodness gospel are often deep-seated and shame-inducing, and to cast aside this false gospel together would be powerful. Ultimately, I hope women receive the love of God and respond with joyful obedience.
5. How can we be praying for you in light of this book coming out?
First of all, thank you for offering to pray for me. Please pray that I would not waver and doubt the words I’ve written, that I would not fall prey to spiritual attack. Pray that the book would get into the hands of women who need it. And please pray for me as I continue to communicate the extent of God’s grace when I speak and as I write on my blog. I want to do it with truth and with beautiful words.
Thank you Christine!
Ladies, hop over and buy a copy of From Good to Grace for you, your mom, your sister - but enter the giveaway below too! Winner will be announced next Thursday - 3/19!