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?
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.
This is an unusual and extraordinary book. It gets past all the unfortunate church posturing and marketing to the heart of the Gospel: the love of ALL of our neighbors. "Businessmen, church workers, the military -- all in their own way want to put people into their own pocket, instead of into God's hands" (page 25). Jesus irritated and offended all of the pious and reached out to each and every person that crossed his path with compassion, regardless of reputation.
I'm reading the book now. Blumhardt's words transcend time, political parties, and religious "lines in the sand". It is shaping my thinking in a fresh, compassionate, non-judgmental way. Thanks for putting this out there for us lovers of Christ, who don't really fit into much of what is called "Christian" today.
A sample collection of Pastor Blumhardt's letters addressed to his missionary son-in-law. It is a challenging book for those who tend to put distance between themselves as Christians and those who are considered as not. It places focus not on how we as Christians actually practice the love God demands but how God himself actually loves, and that he loves everybody, as demonstrated in Christ: "For God so loved the world..." It is an example that demands emulation. At the same time, his theology can be a bit difficult to pin down. At times, his comments tend to suggest universalism, that everyone will eventually be saved. or even vaguely implies "ultimate reconciliation," which includes the salvation of the Satan and demons. Even the idea that men can be saved without necessarily knowing Christ is hinted. At times, his writings sound more like a social gospel, a message against political oppression and social injustice, and the exhortation is to resist and obtain deliverance from worldly powers and structures.