29 May 2015

Book Review: A Fellowship of Differents

Since becoming interested in theology, I have always thought of Scot McKnight as a "different" from me. He understands certain theological issues differently than I do. However, I am a faithful reader of his excellent blog, Jesus Creed. More often than not, he causes me to think outside of my normal box.

In his book A Fellowship of Differents (Zondervan, 2014), McKnight takes a look at the church and what it should be, a salad with an abundance of unity, grace, and love. Christ's global church is a glorious community of differents, not a homogenized group of people who all look, think, and act the same. Unfortunately, the local church is too often one of boring sameness, which I think McKnight would argue is not God-honoring. When we spend all of our time in community that thinks and acts just like we do, we become weary of those who think differently and we begin to circle the pews.

As McKnight moved through the book, he encourages the reader to ask, "who is invisible in your church?" Do we create space for people of different races, socioeconomic groups, cultures, politics, and marital statuses within the church? Do we allow for people, wherever they are at on their spiritual journey, to come and find a place of welcome? McKnight gave ample space to grace, love, communion/unity, holiness, newness, and flourishing. One of the things that I most appreciated about this book is deeply it is grounded in relationship, which seems to be the core of Christianity.  In fact, he titled chapter 10, "We is Bigger than Me."

McKnight is a great communicator. Weaving narrative with humble theological reflection, A Fellowship of Differents is a beneficial book for the church. Like Bonhoeffer's excellent Life Together, McKnight challenges us to think about moving toward Jesus together. Regardless of your theological persuasion, you will benefit from this call to unity even if you find yourself disagreeing with McKnight on certain theological issues.

I received a complementary copy of this book from Zondervan and the Book Look Blogger Review program. I was not required to submit a positive review. The impressions written above represent my own thinking about this book. 

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