The God Impulse

The Power of Mercy in an Unmerciful World

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For Jesus, truth and mercy went hand in hand. Where he preached he also healed. He didn't outsource one or the other to biblical scholars or nonprofit ministries. He presented the truth of the gospel through his words and his actions, and he did it all in a hands-on, relational way. And the reaction was the same wherever he went--people were amazed.

Today we seem to have lost this powerful pattern of self-giving love, focusing on truth at the expense of mercy or on mercy at the expense of truth, and often failing to build genuine, lasting relationships with the people around us.

In The God Impulse, Jack Alexander helps us recover Jesus's model, showing through biblical and modern real-life stories that God's first impulse toward us is mercy. He then sets forth a pattern for us to follow--to see, go, do, and endure--that not only spreads truth and love to those around us who are suffering but also causes them to gasp in amazement and consider the claims of the gospel for themselves.


Endorsements

"Jack draws a straight line from the lack of teaching and underrepresentation of biblical mercy in the church to the lack of love so many feel from the church. From the familiar Samaritan parable, he unpacks God's pattern of love of see, go, do, and endure and gives a practical and helpful diagnostic. He reminds us that true healing, justice, and reconciliation begin with the impulse of mercy toward our neighbors and enemies. I heartily recommend this book."

Dr. Timothy Keller, pastor emeritus and founder, Redeemer Presbyterian Church; chairman, Redeemer City to City

"Jack reminds us that while God is often portrayed in culture as a harsh and distant master, he is in fact a loving father who longs to grow closer to us--and for us to show mercy to one another."

Andy Stanley, author, communicator, and founder of North Point Ministries

"This book is worth reading! It's a revolutionary lens on life, the character of God, spiritual formation, and the church that will provoke the kind of deep reflection and evaluation that always precedes significant life change. It is by far the most insightful study and application of mercy I've ever read. I highly recommend it."

Chip Ingram, teaching pastor, Living on the Edge; author of The Real God: How He Longs for You to See Him

"The God Impulse takes us on a journey through the rich, wonderful, transforming power of mercy. Throughout the book, Jack reminds us that mercy is more than a sentiment or feeling. It is tied to truth and is a picture of the heart and nature of our great God. I love the way Jack describes the relationship between mercy and truth: 'mercy and truth are the core of "religious" ligaments that reconnect us.' As you read this wonderful book you will find yourself celebrating the beauty and power of mercy."

Dr. Crawford W. Loritts Jr., author, speaker, radio host, and senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church

"In The God impulse, Jack Alexander reminds us, and indeed challenges us, to understand the vital importance of mercy. Mercy moved God to save us--and mercy sustains us. Anyone who claims to be 'a follower of Jesus' is compelled to be an imitator of Jesus. I have been blessed and challenged by The God Impulse, and I know you will too."

Michael Youssef, president of Leading the Way Ministries

"The God Impulse is both a refreshing breeze and a slap in the face. Jack Alexander makes the case that mercy is one of the defining characteristics of God and as such should be the same for those who follow him. Honestly, I was aggravated and convicted at times, but more so, I was encouraged and motivated to remember who Jesus calls us to be as Christians. I love a book that can convict and inspire me simultaneously. This one did. Oh, and the way the author unpacks the story of the Good Samaritan is enough to warrant a second reading."

Clayton King, president, Crossroads Summer Camps and Missions; teaching pastor, Newspring Church; author of Stronger and Overcome

"A rare and exceptional book on mercy--by a rare and exceptional man of mercy. Do yourself and others a favor by reading this book. And when you do, get ready to fall in love with the beauty of mercy."

Randy Pope, pastor, Perimeter Church

"Powerful. Deep. The God Impulse is the best book I have ever read on the mercy attribute of God and its implications for living a godly life. Thank you, Jack, for your insights and for the incredible work you have invested. A true kingdom treasure."

Robert Lupton, founder and president, FCS Urban Ministries; author of Toxic Charity and Charity Detox

"Jesus describes compassion and mercy in the language of the visceral. He intended for mercy and compassion to be something that we feel, not a subject we discuss. Sadly, too many Christians never see the circumstances that trap people's souls long enough to 'feel' anything. We choose to ignore it or finance the heroic work done by others when Jesus actually calls us to be the people of mercy ourselves. In The God Impulse, Jack Alexander causes us to feel again, to be both inspired and encouraged to action."

Dr. Charlie Dates, senior pastor, Progressive Baptist Church; affiliate professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"There are so many things we want for ourselves that we do not offer to others. We want love, but we don't return it. We want money, but we don't give it. Deep down in our souls, knowing our sinful nature, we want mercy more than anything else. Yet we struggle to offer mercy to others. But as The God Impulse makes imminently clear, God's merciful acts toward us convey his compelling request for us to show mercy to others. If only we would answer his call."

Cheryl Bachelder, author of Dare to Serv; former CEO, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.

"The idea of this book might be the most attractive shape of my faith I could ever aspire to live. If more of us could live out the type of mercy discussed in The God Impulse, it would change the view of the Christian faith everywhere."

Jeff Shinabarger, founder, Plywood People; author of More or Less

"Mercy is a word we can use today, particularly in the context of the current climate of our country and world. Jack introduces or reintroduces us to the concept of mercy. Not just the knowledge of it but the radical practice of it. It is important to be reminded of mercy's role in saving us and in how we share it with our neighbor. Hopefully, this work will stir many to go from recipients of mercy to distributors of mercy, especially among those who might not look like us."

Eric Mason, pastor, Epiphany Fellowship; author of Manhood Restored

"My gauge for a high-praise book is the number of turned-down pages to which I will return to do hard and beautiful work in my life. This one has sixty-seven, far above average. The God Impulse will help me, and many others in multiple cultures, offer fresh and powerful mercy."

Dr. Bruce McNicol, CEO, Trueface; bestselling coauthor of The Cure, The Cure & Parents, and The Ascent of a Leader

"Mercy has become a popular word within our cultural and political climate. While some attempt to embrace it with great eagerness, and others avoid it with blithe indifference, many have missed the holistic nature of mercy. . . . Jack is careful not to divorce justice from mercy, which would render mercy as mere sentimentality. In the same manner, he does not divorce mercy from justice, which would render justice as harsh and severe. The God Impulse is a clarion call to truly embody the heart of God while reminding us that mercy is his heartbeat."

Darryl Ford, pastor, Ikon Community Church

"This book is an exposition of one of the most celebrated stories in the Bible--perhaps in all of literature--the parable of the Good Samaritan. The author holds high the parable as a model for radical and merciful Christian engagement. This timeless and timely exhortation reminds us that it is within this context of relationships that the tension between truth and mercy is best reconciled."

David Allman, chairman, Regent Partners

"The God Impulse provides a pattern for loving others the way God has loved us through Christ Jesus. Jack Alexander uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to educate, inspire, and challenge us to see, go, do, and endure, just as Christ does for each of us."

Lee B. Torrence, cofounder of Regenerated Communities

"Take out your highlighter, because you're going to use it! Then get ready to become a living example of God's mercy to your friends, neighbors, and total strangers. The God Impulse unpacks the meaning of true mercy as Jesus taught and ultimately modeled it. In these pages, Jack provides a master class that is inspiring, simple, and very practical--and that every one of us needs."

Shaunti Feldhahn, social researcher, speaker, bestselling author of For Women Only, For Men Only, and The Kindness Challenge

"The genius of this book is its unanticipated subtlety. Jack Alexander refuses to stop with an obvious plea for Christian engagement with the world's needs. He makes that case, to be sure, but his greater urgency is for the needs of those who have. To refuse to become involved does not merely deprive those who have liabilities; in a way potentially more tragic, non-involvement robs those with assets of their authentic identity and assigned vocation. This book is a gentle warning and an earnest plea. As such, it can hardly be bettered."

Ronnie Stevens, missionary and pastor

"Jack and I first met more than 20 years ago at a CEO gathering in Chicago. I knew he was an outstanding business leader, but immediately sensed something more. What explained his tenderness, his warmth, his unusual attentiveness and genuine interest in others? Reading The God Impulse provides the answer. A theme runs deep in Jack's veins. It is the power of applied mercy in the life of a Christian. Jack unpacks this attribute of God's own character in the most extraordinary way. Through this book we realize that we, too, can be instruments of God to others, extending the mercy he has granted us."

John D. Beckett, chairman, The Beckett Companies; author of Loving Monday and Mastering Monday


The Author

  1. Jack Alexander

    Jack Alexander

    Jack Alexander is chairman of the Reimagine Group and has rich experience leading a variety of businesses. A previous recipient of an Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award, he is a regular speaker, coach, and advisor. He and his wife, Lisa,...

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