BeFriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear  -     By: Scott Sauls
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BeFriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear

Tyndale House / 2016 / Paperback

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In a frightening, violent world, it's difficult to love those who are different from us---and we often withdraw from others to protect ourselves. Inviting us to see and savor how big the love of God is, Sauls explores Jesus' model of a radically different type of friendship that embraces those we consider "outsiders." Foreword by Ann Voskamp. 224 pages, softcover from Tyndale.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 1.00 X 1.00 X 1.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1496400941
ISBN-13: 9781496400949

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Publisher's Description

Is real friendship too risky?
We live in a world where real friendship is hard to find. Suspicious of others and insecure about ourselves, we retreat into the safety of our small, self-made worlds. Now more than ever, it’s easy to avoid people with whom we disagree or whose life experiences don’t mirror our own. Safe among like-minded peers and digital “friends,” we really don’t have to engage with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives. Tragically, even the church can become a place that minimizes diversity and reinforces isolation.

Jesus models a much richer vision of friendship. Scott Sauls, pastor and teacher, invites you to see the breadth of Christ’s love in this book, BeFriend. Join Scott on this journey through twenty-one meditations to inspire actively pursuing God’s love through expanding your circle of friends.

Scott has met too many people whose first impulse is to fence off their lives with relational barriers that only end up starving their own souls.

Yes, it’s true: Real friendship is costly. Love does make us vulnerable. But without risk, our lives will remain impoverished.

Join Scott in BeFriend as he summons you toward diverse friendship that can enrich your life and, in the process, reveal a better version of yourself.

Editorial Reviews

Sauls (Jesus Outside the Lines), senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., writes eloquently on the topic of befriending. He covers his bases thoroughly when challenging Christ followers to be proactive about their relationships in these 21 candid chapters. His message is tailored to inspire engagement with new people—both inside and outside the church—with courage and compassion, reminding Christians that it is all too easy to engage in digital, transactional, one-dimensional friendships when Jesus demands Christians move toward people with intent and self-sacrifice. Befriending, according to Sauls, is the kind of action that may include some initial friction, some hard surfaces, but over time these differences can result in richer, deeper relationships. Readers will learn how to practically seek new relationships with bullies, children, the dying, family members, and strangers. Each chapter is overflowing with compelling true accounts, biblical commentaries, and brief summaries to tie the overarching points together. This is a must read for those stuck in the world of digital-first relationships who seek to enrich their lives and the lives of those they come into contact with daily.
Befriend is extraordinarily well written, organized, and presented, making it strongly recommended, especially for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation.

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  1. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    hard read
    November 13, 2016
    Rachel
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    One thing I enjoyed about this book was how each chapter ended with a recap that included the summary of the chapter, a scripture verse related to the chapter and questions to consider. The questions to consider would make it a great book for a small group. Perhaps getting others feedback would make some parts easier to understand. This book was hard to get into, some parts seemed a bit wordy. I skipped around and read different parts of the book that caught my attention. He breaks down many different aspects of who we can 'befriend.' I will be reading this book again in the near future to gain more perspective.
  2. Chicopee, MA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Take the risk of showing real friendship
    September 17, 2016
    wheelsms
    Chicopee, MA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    What might happen if we took seriously Christs command to love one another? What might happen if Christ followers sincerely tried to love the least and the lost? What are some practical ways that we can create real friendship with those on the fringes of society? These questions lie at the heart of pastor and author Scott Sauls latest offering, Befriend: Create belonging in an age of judgment, isolation.

    Far too often, according to the author, we settle for less real versions of friendship. These might include digital friendships, transactional friendships, and one-dimensional friendships. Rather than settle for false versions of friendship, the author challenges us to pursue real friendshipthe multilayered kind that exposes us to the grit of our own and each others lives; the kinds that positions us to love across the lines of our differences; the kind that leads us to lay down our lives for each others sake.

    As the author explains, the book is a collection of twenty essays. Each essay attempts to explore a unique picture of real friendship. Real friendship happens when we move toward the people we are most tempted to avoid. These are the people who are best equipped to challenge our perspectives, push our buttons, and require us to put on love. Included in his list of challenging people to love are prodigals and Pharisees, the ones you cant control, dysfunctional family members, the poor and empty-handed, bullies and perpetrators, vulnerable women and humans not yet born, and several others.

    The book is well written and will challenge your thinking. The book is biblical and practical. It includes many real life stories and examples. I found it especially timely in light of the current debate over athletes who stand/kneel during the national anthem.

    My impression is that the book appears to be written to those who are already following Christ. The only negative I found in the book is that it lacks a gospel presentation. In the chapter, Befriend the one in the mirror, he deals with the subject of shame and says that Christ has lifted our shame off of us, nailing it to the cross. However, he doesnt go further to explain how we can receive forgiveness for our shame and sin.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network http://tyndaleblognetwork.com/ book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  3. Indiana
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    This book will challenge you
    September 13, 2016
    KBuss
    Indiana
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Author Scott Sauls in his new book Befriend reminds us that as Christians we are called to move toward the people we might be most tempted to avoid in life. You know, the people who are best equipped to challenge our perspectives, push our buttons, and require us to put on love. So in essence, this book was created to challenge you to move beyond your comfort zone in order to reach new people with Jesus love. But if you are someone who refuses to move beyond your comfort zone, then dont pick up this book. It will be a waste of money and the message will be lost on you. But if you want to be challenged to be more Christ-like, this book will accommodate.

    The book contains 20 short chapters on those people Sauls says you need to work to befriend, including:

    Prodigals and Pharisees

    Wrecked and the Restless

    Shamed and Ashamed

    Those Grieving and Dying

    The Other Race

    Strangers and Refugees

    While I read this book alone, Sauls recommends the best option of using this book is in community with others in order to have deep conversation surrounding each chapter. Having read this in solitary, I agree with Sauls suggestion. The best way to use this book would be in a small discipleship group in order for you all to grow beyond your comfort zones together.

    *Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
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