Eric Michael Bryant challenges our views about tolerance for others. Tolerance was not what Jesus taught or practiced. He loved those he encountered, and demonstrated that love in tangible ways. Bryant's two-fold message is, first, that people matter most, and, second, that love is the true apologetic. This is a book filled with stories from Bryant's own experiences in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles, where his church, Mosaic, ministers.
We live in a diverse world filled with unprecedented opportunity. There is a call to move past the barriers that stand between us and those who may be different. Eric Michael Bryant has seen tolerance shown to those who are different than usracially, religiously, sexually, politically, economicallyand believes there must be more. After all, Jesus didnt just tolerate people; he embraced them all with love. Using lighthearted humor, engaging personal stories, and a party theology, Bryant shows us how to love our neighbors and fulfill the vision Jesus had for the church from the beginning. Whether that is through building relationships with the help of bounce houses, stand up comedy, or piñatas, followers of Christ will be inspired to actively engage the world around them.
Dr. Eric Michael Bryant (D.Min. in Entrepreneurial Leadership) serves as the pastor for Central Austin and the South Austin campus of Gateway Church. After helping plant a church in Seattle, Eric served for 12 years on the leadership team at Mosaic in Los Angeles, a church known for its creativity and diversity.
Eric leads a doctoral cohort in Missional Effectiveness at Bethel Seminary and serves as part of the Origins Project, a movement of people passionate about Jesus, Humanity, and Innovation. Eric and his wife Debbie live with their son Caleb and daughter Trevi near downtown Austin, Texas. Connect with Eric at www.ericbryant.org.
Relationship evangelism is the message of this book from Bryant, "the bald white guy" on staff at the 80-nationalities multicultural Christian community Mosaic in Los Angeles. "Love is the new apologetic," writes Bryant. For too long, he argues, the world has been made aware of what Christians hate rather than whom they love; what they are against rather than what they support. Christians, he says, "have created an environment where we are seen as judgmental, irrelevant, mean, and hypocritical." Mixing scripture, humor and personal anecdotes (including a great one about a filling station clerk), Bryant invites Christians to develop a "party theology": invite others to share in your life, and accept invitations to participate in other people's lives, especially if they are different from you in some way. The content is familiar: look to connect through a common cause, hobby or passion. Learn conflict resolution and practice it. Break stereotypes, whether they are ethnic, economic, sexual, religious or political. Apart from one confusing anecdote about a schizophrenic who seems to get well through Christian service, this is a solid book for Christians who have "head knowledge" about relationship evangelism, but need encouragement rather than how-to steps to put that knowledge into action. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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