Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bold as Love by Bob Roberts, Jr. - Reviewed

About the Book: (from Thomas Nelson)

As Christians, we’re called to love our neighbors—all our neighbors. But is that even possible? And can we truly love them well?
People often think of their neighbors as those already belonging to their “tribe” or community. It’s safe, it’s easy, and it doesn’t often cause conflict—politically or religiously. But in today’s world, everyone and everything is interconnected globally in an ever-changing cultural landscape, while religious strife runs rampant. Is it feasible for Christians to live their faith boldly and lovingly while entering into a true relationship with “neighbors” of other faiths, both locally and globally?
In Bold as Love, Pastor Bob Roberts shows you what it looks like to live out your faith daily in the global public square among people of other faiths—Jews, Muslims, atheists, Hindus, Buddhists. While he admits that it can be challenging to engage people of other faiths whose beliefs are as strong as yours, he demonstrates how to enter into this critical dialogue in a radical yet loving way. “We have to learn to speak with one conversation and give the same message everywhere to everyone,” he says. “We are commanded to love God and love others. And sometimes that requires risky boldness.”
Roberts invites you to respond to this call to live a life of fearless and loving engagement with the world. So take the risk! Your faith wasn’t made to live in isolation. It’s something you do face-to-face, heart-to-heart, hand-to-hand. Whether you are in a suburb of Houston or a village in India, put away the fear and suspicion and, instead, answer the call to radically love others the way God loves. And get ready to see your life and the lives of those you touch—your family, your community, even your enemies—transformed!
You can purchase your copy HERE.  And you can use these coupon codes:
• Coupon code for 33% discount on 10 copies or less: boldaslove33
• Coupon code for 50% discount on more than 10 copies: boldaslove50
My Thoughts:

The world we minister to is very much like the world Paul ministered to.  The point is, we needn’t scratch our head and wonder what in the world we’re going to do in this new world.  God has given us not only the strength of his Holy Spirit but the wisdom to be found in the Scriptures.  The message of the New Testament and the example of the church’s first missionaries (especially Paul) can be so helpful for us today.”  (p 16)

This short paragraph really is the heart of Bob Roberts’ message.  We DO live in a world filled with people and religions from all over the globe.  We are as likely to work with a person of the Muslim faith as we are to work with a fellow church member from the local Baptist church.  And the Bible does call us to be salt and light to everyone.  To love as Christ loved. To share the truth of the cross with everyone in love.  That means reaching out and offering genuine friendship and love to people of different faiths. That means being so grounded in the truth of God’s Word that we can share ourselves without compromising the truth.

I’ve enjoyed this book for the most part.  At times I grew wary and felt like Robert’s message may be a little too accommodating.  However, he is always honest with the folks he invites to his church, and shares the gospel.  I am just wary that folks of other faiths are comfortable in his church.  Either they are not passionate about their own faith or think that they might lovingly convert Roberts to theirs.  That works both ways.  If people are not grounded in the Word they are just as likely to be led away by the Muslim (or any other) faith as they are to invite a person from a different faith to fellowship with them.

What I do understand, is that without love, without reaching out to others, the gospel will never go out to the lost and dying world around us. Bob Robert’s has that message dead on!!  But exercise caution. You have to be grounded in the WORD OF GOD, in order to effectively  love as Christ loved without compromising the truth of the Bible.

About the Author:  Bob Roberts Jr. is the founding pastor of NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas.  He received his masters of divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1983 and his doctorate in ministry from Fuller in 1996.

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