Monday, May 9, 2016

Called to Community - a book review

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review the book, Called to Community, The Life Jesus Wants for His People. This book is an excellent collaboration of articles written by many of my favorite authors such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri J. M. Nouwen, C.S. Lewis, and Thomas Merton. Each selection provides interesting and detailed information on how we, as Christians, are called to work together to spread the Gospel of Christ.

Community is about learning to care enough to invest in the lives of those around us. For followers of Christ, our mission is to follow the command to love but we can't do that unless we're willing to get involved in the lives of others. Jean Vanier, one of the contributors to this book, says "A Community is only truly a body when the majority of its members is making the transition "from the community for myself" to the "myself for the community," when each person's heart is opening to all the others, without any exceptions."

I learned many things from reading this book. I was especially interested one of the selections, "The Way," by Alden Bass. A detailed account of the history behind the Christian Community of Jewish believers called, The Way, is given. I found the information contained in Mr. Bass' writing to be filled with Biblical history.

Some of the other topics included in the book include:

  • Pentecost
  • Counterculture
  • Idealism
  • Solitude
  • Surrender
  • Deeds
  • The Way
  • Surrender
  • Transparency 

Called to Community is a book filled with 52 different selections of information written by people who have learned the importance of community. Each of these selections falls under one of four subheadings: A Call to Community, Forming Community, Life in Community, and Beyond the Community. This book would be a great choice for use in small group Bible studies. A detailed discussion guide is included in the back of the book and provides thought provoking questions like these:

  • How can differences be a blessing?
  • What does the word "unity" mean to you?
  • What does true submission entail?
  • Is community possible without submission?
  • Does accepting others as they are mean we have to ignore those things in them that need to change?
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in building a strong Christian community or anyone interested in learning more about Biblical history. I would like to thank Plough Publishing for providing me with a complimentary early review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

©bonnie annis all rights reserved

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