Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: A Fellowship of Differents by Scot McKnight



Review: A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God's Design for Life Together
Scot McKnight
Zondervan
2014

“Everything I learned about Christian life I learned from my church.”  Most of us can agree with McKnight on this quote, but is what we learned the way the church was supposed to be?  And for that matter bringing down to the personal level, the way Christian life was supposed to be?  McKnight looks at those questions in this book.  As the title hints at his answers call for some adjustments in church as usual.

McKnight has taught for a number of years and I think that is what makes this book so readable. It’s deeper thought-wise than several I’ve read lately, but not pedantic.  It has some fun asides and anecdotes mixed into the text at appropriate moments that help make the point without bludgeoning the reader.  Basically, he thinks that the days of the rugged individual Christian and the assemblies of people that resemble that individual are over.  It has become time for unity in diversity in the assembly. 

He is not naïve about the difficulties involved though.  It’ll be hard, messy, challenging, and maybe cause a few moments of pain.  McKnight looks to Paul’s example (Jesus’ too, since Paul was following Jesus) and sees the trials and the joys in A Fellowship of Differents.   One chapter in particular addresses probably the most realistic way forward related to same sex attraction that I have read.  He meets the challenge face on not quibbling and not compromising Biblical standards, but in a way that maintains the dignity of the person, remembering we are all made in the image of God.  There’s much more than this particular topic, but this one is one that remains a major source of discussion.

What didn’t I like?  It’s a phrase that kind of got under my skin that he uses--- God’s world changing social experiment.  Nit picking? Probably, but God ain’t into experiments in my opinion.  But, there’s too much that is worthwhile in this book to let that spoil it. 

I do recommend this book.  It is not difficult to read and best of all it is significantly shorter than the author originally intended according to his afterword.  End notes are included for those that want to follow up on any of his references.

This book was provided for me by the publisher in exchange for a review.

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