BOLD AS LOVE: What Can Happen when We See People the Way God Does, (Bob Roberts, Jr, Thomas Nelson, 2012) is a book that hurts to read. It hurts because at every turn, we see ourselves and our churches reflected in less than flattering ways. Not Bob Roberts’ fault; not the book’s fault. Our fault.
Jesus had this habit of telling people that they should love God, and love others. He even told stories designed to help us realize that ‘others’ really did include others. The people that we are called to love are the people that God loves, and believe it or not, like it or not, God frequently surprises us by loving people other than those that we worship with on Sunday morning.
Advances in technology means that the world as we know it is shrinking, a couple of clicks on the computer and we’re talking with someone half way around the world, someone who lives in a different culture, has different customs, and may worship someone other than the triune God of Christianity. Immigration and emigration patterns mean that our next door neighbors may speak a different language, have different color skin, and they may worship on Friday or Saturday instead of Sunday…God loves them and Jesus calls us to love them too.
Roberts takes us on a journey: a journey that allows us to live our faith daily, and as we live our faith, to share it with members of other ‘tribes’. Most of us have heard of the bible thumpers, the zealots that go out with the expressed intention of converting everyone with whom they come in contact. Roberts offers an alternative. Get to know your neighbor, learn about the differences, ‘talk with’ instead of ‘talk to’. Be a friend. Isolation and insulation are no longer options. Let’s learn to follow Jesus where Jesus goes.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author for agreeing to post an unbiased review.