Book Review – The Practice of Love

Normally I don’t re-post anything during the same day, but this one seemed to get lost in the shuffle, so I’m re-posting now.

If you’ve read any of my posts dealing with book reviews or theatre reviews, you may have noticed that I write about a lot of things that involve people I know.  Going to a show their in or buying one of their books doesn’t make a great deal of difference in my friend’s life, but it is one small way in which I can support them.  Such is the case with the book The Practice of Love:  Real Stories of Living Into the Kingdom of God.  One of the chapters in the book is written by my friend Jamie Arpin-Ricci.  I appreciate his blog, which is linked under his name, and I thought I would give this book a read as a result.

The book is edited by Jonathan Brink of Civitas Press.  I can’t locate it, but in one place I read that Civitas Press uses crowd sourcing, or to put it another way the wisdom of the masses.  As a result, what we have hear is not one person giving their idea of what it means to “live into the Kingdom of God,” but the ideas and experience of a much wider group of people.

Divided into four sections, the book looks at Loving God, Loving Ourselves, Loving our Neighbours, and Loving our Enemies.  Reading trough the book, I would describe it as an extended literary testimony meeting.  However, if you’re looking for the “big” testimony, you won’t find it here.

This is a good thing, because these are stories about lives lived in the cracks.  Stories where even the biggest transformations may only be noticed by a handful of people.  Stories also, where some of the transformations seem so small that even those closest have trouble seeing them.  Yet in each of these stories God’s transforming power is at work, more importantly is still at work.

Undoubtedly, given the diversity of the writers, you will likely not agree with everything that is written.  I certainly didn’t.  However, one of the things that the book emphasizes is that love is not about agreeing on doctrine, or practice, but agreeing that everyone is created by a loving God, and as such, if we claim to love that loving God, is someone that is worthy of our love.

This book is definitely worth a read for anyone.  I’m glad I’ve read it, because as I’ve gone through I realized, looking at the authors names, that many of these writers are people who I have connected with over the internet, and this book gives another little connection with them.


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