"Bold as Love" by Bob Roberts Jr, is a pretty good book. It's about a pretty sensitive subject, however. Roberts writes about his church in Texas that starts a multifaith movement involving Baptist, Muslim, and Jew. The churches are not actively converting, rather they are sharing. But if you want to convert, they are more than willing. The book follows Roberts' journey both in Texas and around the world on his mission to serve. It is his belief that Christians are to serve others, not be served by religion. This book could lead to a lot of healthy, and quite frankly, violent discussions. It is an interesting book, in both theory and writing. I enjoyed it. I can see where it would tick some people off. I received this book for free from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
Subtitled "What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does," Bold as Love takes a candid look at how to truly love your neighbor. Mr. Roberts points out that it's easy, particularly in our American culture, to love those who believe like we do, who value the things we value, etc. But the world is becoming smaller every day. We have Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Atheists living next door to one another. On page 27, Mr. Roberts 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. Loving others was made for when it's hard, scary, and near impossible."
Frequently using Paul as an example, Mr. Roberts wrote, "Serve not to convert; serve because you are converted." He is not saying that you don't care if the person(s) you are serving choose Jesus, but that they don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. When you show that you're going to love and serve someone despite your faith difference, when you show respect for their beliefs, they will be open to discussing faith differences. Just be sure "truth is wrapped in boldness, but with humility, not arrogance or hate." (p. 39)
I found this book encouraging, particularly as I currently have Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim neighbors. It was an easy read and while it was not as organized as I would have liked, it did all come together as a treatise on developing respectful and loving multi-faith relationships. There are other nuggets to be found as well. Witnessing to and praying for your other-faith friends is certainly part of the process.
This is a great book to challenge the way we live in and interact with the world as we enter the new year. Filled with stories of his own encounters with people of other faiths, Bold as Love is a call for Christians to live radically, love boldly, and serve unconditionally, as Christ did.
A complimentary review copy of this book was provided with no expectation of a positive review.
How do you relate to your neighbors who are different from you?
No, I'm not talking about how much money they make, what fancy toys they have,
or even their ethnicity.
How do you spend time with neighbors who are not Christian?
Maybe they are Muslim, Hindu, Buddhists, or atheist. Do you keep your distance or just say a passing hello if you meet to cross the street at the same time?
We are no longer separated from other cultures by our countries or nation. With our global economy, many faiths live in America and most likely just down the street from you. In Bold as Love, Pastor Bob Roberts, Jr. shows us what is looks like to truly love our neighbor regardless of faith, culture, or nationality.
Bob Roberts, Jr. is the founding pastor of Northwood Church in Keller, Texas. He has made it his mission to not only teach about sharing your faith with non-Christians, but has also introduced it to his own congregation. We are reminded that we need to first have relationships with others. Without spending time with people, we cannot share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Why would they listen to us? He and his church have teamed up with a Jewish congregation and a Muslim one. The not only serve the community together, they also share worship service time. Not for the sake of converting each other, but to better understand the other faiths and respect the people and their beliefs.
Bob Roberts, Jr. journey has taken him to many corners of the world which he shares in Bold as Love. We can live out our faith while forging relationships with non-Christians. It just takes faith!
It is a whole new world just outside your front door.
Go and embrace others and spread God's love
through acts of kindness and frienships!
I received a complimentary copy of Bold as Love from Handlebar Publishing and Thomas Nelson for my honest opinion. I received no further compensation.
I was given the opportunity to review the book "Bold as Love" by Bob Roberts, Jr. There were so many wonderful things that I read in this book. Moving beyond the Ã¢â¬Ëlove God, love others' Great Commandment of the New Testament, "Bold as Love" teaches you how to put it into practice.
Bob Roberts, Jr. tells how he steps out in faith to get to know and build relationships with leaders in the local Jewish and Muslim communities. He puts is so well, "I am convinced that few will respond to our gospel message if we are combative and attacking, [but] many may be interested if we humbly share the truth of the Gospel in love, within the context of relationship."
Bob challenges everyone to start getting to know people to work for a comment good for the community. He tells a story of an multifaith gathering at the church that he pastors and the Muslims visiting started to sign up for projects that his church was leading. This experience lead to people working side-by-side and getting to know each other. We forget that before we can convert people, they need to see our faith put into practice. We need to give them a reason why they should want to be a Christian.
What really touched me was Bob's definitions of interfaith and multifaith. Interfaith, in Bob's words, "it's the nebulous, fuzzy-feeling; it's a we're-all-going-to-the-same-place-just-different-roads religion, a kind of Kumbaya experience". Multifaith is "the idea that we all had unique faiths that we wouldn't compromise, but that we could still get together and get along". It's more than tolerance; an indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own. It's meeting someone different than us and making friends and working with someone to do good for the community. It's not about seeing people as a target for evangelism, but focusing on how you can change the world around you.
I love what he said to a group of Muslim imams, "Because I have rejected Mohammed as a divine prophet, I cannot go to heaven. Any imam and most Muslims would tell you that. But it doesn't mean they're bigoted or evil. It means that they value the truth of their Qur'an. In the same way, I cannot reject my Bible and what it teaches." This level of honesty allows open conversation and the ability to learn about one another because we are speaking the truth and not trying to convert one another. It also forces us to put aside offense so that we can truly learn about one another.
Christians have forgotten that we were called to make disciples and we're failing to be Jesus to those whom we have the greatest contact with. Because of this, we are actually failing in our major task because of fear, political correctness, and fear of offense. We seem to forget that we all proverbially put on our pants the same way. Their woman bear the children, their men are the leaders of the household, and we are all families. Just just have a different religious belief.
I highly recommend this book to any Christian who wants to live their faith boldly and live it as Jesus called us to live it. If you want to learn how to be friends with people of different faiths and live your faith out loud, then you should read this book. Being a Christian isn't just a Sunday morning life style. It's an everyday, 24/7, 365 habit, practice, behavior, conduct. Choose to treat your faith that way. And, if God loves the whole world, then shouldn't we?
I just finished reading Bold as Love by Bob Roberts, Jr. Wow. This quick-reading and engaging book both inspires and paints a picture of what could and should be in the church today. As a pastor myself, I am energized as I reflect on it!
What an impassioned plea to pastors, Christians and other ordinary people to love each other as Jesus did. But this isn't your ordinary "love your neighbor" book. This one is radical.
Roberts is an evangelical pastor in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX. His church is heavily flavored by his passion to make disciples of Jesus Christ of all nations as described in the New Testament. And he has been. But he way has not always been popular in even his own church.
Roberts has been swimming against the American evangelical stream for quite some time. A stream that makes it hard to love people who believe differently than you do. It's not just American Christianity--it's just American to keep your distance from others who believe differently than you do.
Roberts points to Jesus' example as the better alternative. Jesus taught and modeled loving all people of all ethnicities no matter what they believe. And he called his followers to do the same. All of them.
Roberts shares story after story of both his local and global activities to make disciples. At one point he even says that while he still believes in planting churches he has turned his emphasis to making disciples.
His local and global activities are both personal and strategic. They are personal in that he is literally befriending Muslim Imams, Jewish Rabbis and other religious leaders. Strategic in that he wants his church to do the same.
He also talks about the important differences between interfaith and multi-faith initiatives. Interfaith, which he doesn't like, seeks to bring various faiths together under a watered-down set of agreeable beliefs that takes the teeth out of all of them. Multi-faith is what he embraces. People from various faiths openly and honestly transparent about their key differences but doing so in a respectful, peaceful and friendly way.
He spends time sharing how he shares Jesus with these new friends of his too. It starts with serving them. They have a saying at his church. "Don't serve to convert. Serve because you've been converted." This sounds like Jesus! He clarifies that this isn't serving instead of witnessing (he doesn't like witnessing without serving either). He believes we "show and tell" God's love. That leads to conversations about Jesus that are genuine, rich and transforming.
But sometimes they don't lead to converts. Roberts doesn't lose sleep over that. He knows that God is in control of salvation. He reminds his readers that it's not them but God who saves people.
Roberts does a tremendous service to the church in writing this book. He throws down the gauntlet to pastors to love those in other religions (whether they convert or not) and to lead their congregations to do the same. He acknowledges that it will likely get you into hot water with your own tribe. But I think he smiled as he wrote that you'd be in good company (Jesus) if that happened.
This book is also unique (to me) in that while it's written primarily to Christians, it could easily (and inoffensively) be read by Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists and those of other religions. His humility, stories, humor and honesty is totally disarming.
Read this one and then hand it to someone else. Then go make a friend who isn't a Christian. Highly recommended!
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to give it a positive review. I did choose it to review as I love what Roberts is doing and read his previous book Glocalization and liked it. So I was eager to read it!