From Josh: Today’s book review is from a guest writer, Kimm Crandall. Kimm blogs at Christ in the Chaos, and her desire is to bring the much needed gospel to other women who are searching for Christ in the chaos of life. You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.
She is reviewing Three Free Sins by Steve Brown. (
Keep reading to the bottom, where you can be the lucky winner of a free copy. Congratulations to Marcy, winner of this week’s book giveaway.)
Title: Three Free Sins
Author: Steve Brown
Publisher: Howard Books (2012)
Kimm’s Rating: 4.5/5
The first time I heard Steve Brown on the radio I made my husband turn it off. You see, my law bound heart was afraid of freedom. I was afraid that teachings such as Steve’s would cause my husband to jump off the deep end and, I don’t know, smoke a pipe or something. Funny thing is that I kept trying to listen and kept turning it off. Over time I made it through the whole talk and was immensely grateful for the message of grace that was starting to penetrate my heart.
I’d have to say that over the years Steve has grown to be a bit of a spiritual “Daddy” to me and if I were to stalk anyone it might just be him. It’s borderline idolatry but I figure that I can use one of my three free sins to cover that one.
Because of my lack of tolerance for any book that’s going to lay the law on thick leaving me with another list of ways to be a better Christian, this book excited me. The title alone drew me in to see what the heck he was talking about when every other book on the shelf is promising me ways to overcome my sin. That’s what I love about this book. It’s so unexpected and freeing that you just can’t put it down.
If you were to open my copy of this brilliant book you would see page after page of underlined sentences, starred paragraphs and circled phrases. And when I mark a book this way it means one of two things, it is “that good” or “that bad.” In this case, since the graffiti carries on to the last pages, you would know that it was definitely good enough for me to stay with it to the end. I rarely finish a book unless it really grabs me by the hair and pulls me in. And Steve’s book did that and so much more.
I love that Steve addresses the all too often neglected subject of self-righteousness (something I really struggle with). Others will write about it but nobody seems to understand it quite like Steve. His honest and open sense of his own struggles with pride leaves you feeling as if you just had a long chat with an old friend. You can breathe knowing that he’s just like you.
I was reminded that it is not just my sin that Jesus had to come to save me from but my goodness as well. This book will challenge the religious, try harder part of your heart to rest, freeing you from the deep rooted “God is mad at me if I don’t do it right” lie.
Though I enjoyed every bit of this book, from Steve’s humorous illustrations to his theologically sound doctrine, I’d have to say that this paragraph sums up what I took away from this book:
I’ve given up trying to be better (it wasn’t working anyway), doing it right (I was hitting it about 49 percent of the time, and that was more accidental than anything else), and wanting everyone to be impressed by my faithfulness (they knew the truth but were kind enough not to tell me). I found out that it really isn’t about me and my faithfulness, perfection, and obedience. It’s about Another, who is perfect in His faithfulness and obedience. That would be Jesus.
I confidently give this book four and a half out of five stars. I love every word of it but I do hesitate to give it to those who are angry about grace and don’t have a sense of humor to understand when Steve is being sarcastic. But then again I’m a wuss (a topic that this book addresses as well). If you are hesitant at all about reading this book I say be free and go for it, you could always count it as one of your three free sins!