Bold Love (1992) by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III was first recommended to me by a friend at the Next Step School for Spiritual Direction last fall. More recently, my friend Mark has referenced this book on more than one occasion.
Bold Love is a bold book about forgiveness, relationship, and deep love. The authors open the book by discussing what seems to be the unreasonableness of love. Love is a great ideal, but often it just does not make sense. The authors then enter into an exploration of bold, biblical love--the kind that is other centered, desires redeemed relationships, and honors God. Love is not tolerance; it is a much higher ethic.
This book was a bit of a slow starter for me. If I am honest, I initially was unsure why my friends were so taken with it, but as I proceeded, I could see why. There is much to commend here.
Here are a few tidbits that really struck me:
*Love is a sacrifice for the undeserving that opens the door to restoration of relationship with the Father, with others, and with ourselves.
*The greatest gift this life offers is the joy of forming Christ in others.
*Forgiveness is inviting the one who harmed you to a banquet of fine food and wine that you have prepared so that he might have a taste of life.
*In many cases, love will unnerve, offend, hurt, disturb, and compel the one who is loved to deal with the internal disease that is robbing him and others of joy.
*When someone gives love, it should be with a strength that does not fear the loss of the relationship.
*The powerful voice is one that falters but perseveres.
Weaving together powerful stories, biblical wisdom, and a knowledge of the human condition, Bold Love is a winner.