Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: Bold As Love

Bold As Love: What can happen when we see people the way God does by Bob Roberts, Jr.

About this book:

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!

This book really had me thinking about what it really means to love your neighbor.  Too often in our church tradition we hear people questioning who our neighbors really are.  Who are we supposed to love?  Are there people that God does not require us to love?  I have to agree with Bob Roberts when he says, "Loving others isn't something we do when we agree with them, or when they're like us, or even when we like them."  We are called to love all of our neighbors, maybe even especially those who don't believe the way we do.  Be developing relationships with them, we open up the dialog to share with them what we believe and why, while also understanding who they are and what they believe.  We come to love them as individual people, and not just a people - often a people we don't understand or that we fear.  Often loving others requires risky boldness and is something we can only accomplish by focusing on God first and following his commands to love others.

While reading the book, I found myself highlighting sentences and passages that really struck me.  There are some real gems in this book along with the far-reaching challenge for all of us to see people and love them the way God does.  Roberts shows what it looks like to boldly love your neighbor as God would want us to by sharing the experiences he's had in his home church in the Dallas area, and around the world, building relationships with people from all walks of life.  Imagine what the world would look like if we all stepped out and did that!

"When we love people and build relationships with them, all kinds of good things happen that were not previously possible."

Bold as Love: What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does is available at Amazon and other book retailers.  I encourage you to pick up your own copy.  Also, be sure to check out Bob Roberts' blog at

Note: I received a free copy of Bold as Love for review.  All opinions are 100% mine.
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