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What does it mean to develop true community in our churches—and how do we get there? For all the vast talk about the nature of the church over the years, our understanding of the actual relationship we euphemistically call "Christian community" is rather thin and incomprehensible. Peel away the institutional hard shell around what we understand to be the church and what fleshy relationship lies within?
In Soulmates, David Horn addresses the above questions with creativity, wisdom, and pastoral love, equipping you with a practical roadmap to achieving deeper relationships within your church community. By setting the utterly unique relationship, fellowship, against the backdrop of another important relationship that serves most often as its chief counterfeit, friendship, Horn seeks to give definition and understanding to true Christian community.
Covering such topics as the many faces of relationship, the nature of friendship, the making of community, the hospitality of sojourners and aliens, and more, Soulmates invites readers to understand and move into the uncommon relationship that we, as the body of Christ, are to engender in one another in our life together—a relationship that is far more unique and radical than we often imagine.
|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
Publication Date: 2017
For all the vast talk about the nature of the church over the years, our understanding of the actual relationship we euphemistically call Christian community is rather thin and incomprehensible. Peel away the institutional hard shell around what we understand to be the church and what fleshy relationship lies within? Soulmates seeks to give definition to this utterly unique relationship let's call it fellowship. It does so in large measure by setting it against the backdrop of another important relationship that serves most often as its chief counterfeit friendship.
Are we simply to be more friendly than those around us? Or, maybe, just maybe, the relationship that we are to engender in one another in our life together is to be far more unique and radical than we often imagine.
David Horn (ThD, Boston University School of Theology) served for over twenty years as director of the Ockenga Institute of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which included overseeing the Shoemaker Center for Church Renewal and the Compass Program. He also served on the pastoral staff of First Congregational Church in Hamilton, Massachusetts, and continues to be actively involved in the leadership and teaching ministries of the church. Dr. Horn writes and speaks on issues related to practical theology and sociology of religion.
"For those readers who have grown weary of shallow or transitory relationships in their churches and communities and who hunger for genuine friendship, Soulmates is exactly the book for you! With refreshing spiritual insight, winsome humility, and delightful humor, Dr. Horn describes the nature of true Christian friendship and challenges each of us to settle for nothing less than the kinds of relationships that God designed us to enjoy."
—Garth M. Rosell, Senior Research Professor of Church History, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
"David Horn's Soulmates is a welcome and unique contribution to our understanding and practice of interpersonal friendship and congregational community. There is an important overlap but it is in the contrast of (1) a freely chosen, mutually beneficial relationship (friendship) with (2) a divinely created, inclusive, obligatory fellowship of hospitality and sacrificial love (for the church community) that Horn's insights most brightly and helpfully shine. Important reading for pastors and church leaders; exciting discussion possibilities for classes and study groups."
—David W. Gill, author of Becoming Good: Building Moral Character and Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles
"This book is about practicing Christian faith within the complex fabric of the church. But it is entered through a discussion of the nature of, and differences between, friendship and Christian fellowship. All of these themes are treated here with rigor, uncommon insight, and a pastoral touch. The book's tone is warm, down to earth, and funny but there are profound truths in these pages."
—David F. Wells, Distinguished Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary