Monday, January 21, 2013

Bold As Love by Bob Roberts, Jr.

Dallas pastor Bob Roberts asks readers, "As Christians we're called to love our neighbors-all our neighbors. But is that even possible? Can we truly love them well?" Bold As Love is a great read on an often misunderstood topic in the Christian community: interfaith gatherings.

I'll be honest, I was very wary of reading this book based on the premise alone. But, I'm really glad I gave it a try! Mr. Roberts delves into the topic of truly loving our neighbor and how to practically live it out. He establishes very early on that loving his neighbor did not mean abandoning his beliefs and saying we all ultimately believe the same thing. Roberts says, "I made it clear that I was an evangelical, a conservative Christian, and that I didn't like interfaith gatherings: I saw interfaith as loosey-goosey, let's all just hug one another and ignore core truth. I wanted nothing to do with that. I liked the concept of multifaith better, which says we have fundamental differences, but the best of our faiths teach us we should get along. I wanted to do all I could to build relationships, so instead of living in fear; we could live in peace with one another." (p. 19)

The author weaves personal stories of interacting with imams, rabbis, and people of other faiths in this country and others. I liked hearing his accounts of practically applying these ideas, but at times it was a little repetitive.

The book is broken down into different chapters that talk about Roberts' personal experiences and then the rest of the book offers very practical ways to start reaching out to people of other faiths. I really liked that he emphasized the need to step out in faith. On page 73, he says, "Are you ready to stop living in isolation as a follower of Jesus? He needs you out there, connecting with and loving people. People are hungry for relationships, especially from the other side of the world. Ask God to open your eyes and heart to people. Are you ready to extend your hand?"

The book goes on to include important points like truly serving others and knowing theology. He also dedicates a chapter to explaining the term multifaith and how it brings people together without compromising Christian beliefs.

I enjoyed the book for the call to action and practical steps to loving my neighbors all around me. Bold As Love is a biblically sound book calling all Christians to embrace our melting pot of cultures and religions to develop true, honest, and service-based relationships.

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