New Hope Publishers
Ed Stetzer continues to expand his teaching on missional living in this book. Missional living is what Ed describes as “seeing yourself as in a missionary setting, even if you never leave your neighborhood.” Taking his theme from 2 Corinthians 5, Ed demonstrates practical ways for the love of Christ to compel believers in their beliefs and behaviors.
The first four chapters of the book outline and detail the great love with which God has loved His people. The case is made for this love to compel our further response. Chapter 3 outlines a conversation between a group of believers who knew the needs of their community and had formulated plans to impact their communities in a positive way. When asked “What is the gospel?”, however, they had no clue. The authors brilliantly point out that when we assume the gospel, we assume too much. Indeed, without the gospel, what good is relevance or cultural engagement?
A majority of the book is devoted to the practical application of love; in other words, how does a believer show God’s love in an understandable, attractive manner? Ed’s response is excellent. He states “God has a perfect plan, and God laid out His plan eternally in His Word, the Bible. [I] think the most loving thing to do is tell the truth, even if that means disagreeing about someone’s most personal choices for life.” He further states that lovingly presenting God’s Word does not mean that one will go along with everyone’s ideas and thoughts. Believers are not to be controversial for the sake of controversy; but to cause the world to notice a difference in the way we behave in conflict.
This book would be a great resource for small study groups. It is designed to be used as such, including application and thought-inducing questions at the conclusion of each chapter. Read this book with a pen in hand while sitting in a quiet place. You will want to record your thoughts and reactions prompted by this book! For a summary statement, I could find none better than this one: “If we love the people who live where God placed us, we will do what it takes to reach them” (p.124). – Charles L. Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Understand what it means to be compelled by love. In the book entitled Compelled by Love, trusted missiologist Ed Stetzer and coauthor and pastor Philip Nation challenge readers to look at love within the context of God, the church, and the lives of individual believers. Selected as the 2008–2009 emphasis book for WMU®, a million-member nonprofit missions organization, Compelled by Love will give readers a basic theological grounding and a platform for personal application as they understand what missional living is all about—it is simply the calling to love others. Look at the love of God; begin to truly understand what is at the center of the church’s foundation, commission, and direction; but most importantly, understand your role within the mission of God as you integrate love into all aspects of your missional calling.