Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt. Foreword by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Plough Publishing House, 2015.
How can Christians represent the love of Christ in an age when Christianity has earned a bad name from centuries of intolerance and cultural imperialism? Is it enough to love and serve your neighbor? Can you be a missional Christian without a church?
WN: The book highlighted is powerful and immensely hopeful! There is a free download available too.
From Plough’s Introduction:
Gold Medal, 2015 Illumination Book Awards
How can Christians represent the love of Christ to their neighbors (let alone people in foreign countries) in an age when Christianity has earned a bad name from centuries of intolerance and cultural imperialism? Is it enough to love and serve them? Can you win their trust without becoming one of them? Can you be a missional Christian without a church?
This provocative book, based on a recently uncovered collection of 100-year-old letters from a famous pastor to his son-in-law, a missionary in China, will upend pretty much everyone’s assumptions about what it means to give witness to Christ.
Blumhardt challenges us to find something of God in every person, to befriend people and lead them to faith without expecting them to become like us, and to discover where Christ is already at work in the world. This is truly good news: No one on the planet is outside the love of God.
At a time when Christian mission has too often been reduced to social work or proselytism, this book invites us to reclaim the heart of Jesus’ great commission, quietly but confidently incarnating the love of Christ and trusting him to do the rest.
Read the foreword by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.
Read excerpts from chapter three: See How Christ Is Already at Work.
See the introductory video:
Below is my Personal Mantra in light of the above, also found on the HOME page:
The Gospels indicate that the test case for love of God is love of neighbour.
The test case for love of neighbour is love of enemy. Therefore, to the extent we love neighbour and enemy, to that extent we love God. And to the extent we fail to love neighbour and enemy, we fail to love God. “Love” (agapao) is a New Testament action verb that constantly reaches out to embrace as friends, draw a circle of inclusion around, neighbour and enemy (agape is the noun form, almost invariably referencing God’s unconditional love in the New Testament).
Therefore, the ultimate theological bottom line is: GOD IS ALL-INCLUSIVE LOVE. PERIOD. This is a great divide in Christian theology, on the one and the other hands:
• Those who affirm that God is All-Inclusive Love. Period!
• Those who assert God to be Anything Less!
In light of the mantra, I love this quote:
Without the moral command to non-violence, the teaching on prayer would become merely a pietistic escape from life’s troubles. Without the teaching on going into the inner room and shutting the door, setting our mind on God’s kingdom before everything else, and leaving self behind, the moral command to turn the other cheek would be empty idealism. We cannot love our enemies without doing so from a profound contemplative source of energy. We cannot meditate without becoming more loving and less violent.—A Letter from Laurence Freeman March 2013, Laurence Freeman Blog
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