John Newton Revisited: A Counselor Explores God’s Purpose for Our Failure and Guilt

Why do Christians—even mature Christians—still sin so often? We seem to notice more sin in our lives all the time, and we wonder if our progress is a constant disappointment to God. Why doesn’t God set us free?

In Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in Our Weakness, pastor’s wife and counselor Barbara Duguid turns to the writings of John Newton to reveal God’s purpose for our failure and guilt—and to help us adjust our expectations of ourselves. Her empathetic, honest approach lifts our focus from our own performance back to the God who is bigger than our failures—and who uses them for his glory.

Pastor and author Tullian Tchividjian praises Extravagant Grace for its gospel-centered message: “Barbara reminds us that spiritual growth is realizing how utterly dependent we are on Christ’s cross and mercy. It’s not arriving at some point where we need Jesus less and less because we’re getting better and better.” Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of Idols of the Heart, says, “Barbara knows that, along with John Newton, she is a great sinner who has a great Savior, and this message of God’s mercy will encourage you to live in light of the sweetest news ever heard: he died for a wretch like me!”