2017 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist (Faith and Culture
Is real friendship too risky?
We live in a world where real friendship is hard to find. Suspicious of others and insecure about ourselves, we retreat into the safety of our small, self-made worlds. Now more than ever, it’s easy to avoid people with whom we disagree or whose life experiences don’t mirror our own. Safe among like-minded peers and digital “friends,” we really don’t have to engage with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives. Tragically, even the church can become a place that minimizes diversity and reinforces isolation.
Jesus models a much richer vision of friendship. Scott Sauls, pastor and teacher, invites you to see the breadth of Christ’s love in this book, BeFriend. Join Scott on this journey through twenty-one meditations to inspire actively pursuing God’s love through expanding your circle of friends.
Scott has met too many people whose first impulse is to fence off their lives with relational barriers that only end up starving their own souls.
Yes, it’s true: Real friendship is costly. Love does make us vulnerable. But without risk, our lives will remain impoverished.
Join Scott in BeFriend as he summons you toward diverse friendship that can enrich your life and, in the process, reveal a better version of yourself.
Scott has written one phenomenal book, direly needed for these times. Sharp. Informed. Culturally savvy. Biblical. This book will deeply change lives and start a befriend revolution. It’s powerfully changed me, and I’m sitting here revived in desperately parched places—feeling a bit of a holy hush. These pages echo the heart of God.
Books like Befriend have me hopeful that God’s people are going to rise to the occasion of our moment in history with God’s goodness and grace. I pray that as you read through each of these chapters, you might add more serious and diverse friendships to enrich and expand your view of what God is up to in our day. I couldn’t be more grateful for Scott’s voice on this topic.
Scott Sauls is a pastor even through his writing. He doesn’t preach; he cares for souls and gently reminds us of a better way, of the tension and beauty of following Jesus. Jesus was and is a friend. Scott not only writes masterfully about that but lives like Jesus in this way.
In this accessible book, Scott Sauls looks at virtually the entirety of the Christian life through the prism of friendship, and that’s a well-grounded project theologically. When the gospel makes God our friend rather than our enemy, and we are also reconciled to ourselves—both our sin and our identity in Jesus, our friend—then we move out into the world in a new way. As Scott so ably shows us, Christian practice is to a great degree an exercise in friendship. This is a helpful, practical, and rich encouragement to bring all of our life in line with the gospel.
In Befriend, Scott Sauls provides real rescue from loneliness by highlighting what it means to be in real relationship and exposing the difference between “friending” and “befriending.” In a world full of “likes,” Scott points us back to love. There could not be a better time for a book such as this one.
Sauls (Jesus Outside the Lines), senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., writes eloquently on the topic of befriending. He covers his bases thoroughly when challenging Christ followers to be proactive about their relationships in these 21 candid chapters. His message is tailored to inspire engagement with new people—both inside and outside the church—with courage and compassion, reminding Christians that it is all too easy to engage in digital, transactional, one-dimensional friendships when Jesus demands Christians move toward people with intent and self-sacrifice. Befriending, according to Sauls, is the kind of action that may include some initial friction, some hard surfaces, but over time these differences can result in richer, deeper relationships. Readers will learn how to practically seek new relationships with bullies, children, the dying, family members, and strangers. Each chapter is overflowing with compelling true accounts, biblical commentaries, and brief summaries to tie the overarching points together. This is a must read for those stuck in the world of digital-first relationships who seek to enrich their lives and the lives of those they come into contact with daily.
Befriend is extraordinarily well written, organized, and presented, making it strongly recommended, especially for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation.
As Scott so ably shows us, Christian practice is to a great degree an exercise in friendship. This book is a helpful, practical, and rich encouragement to bring all of our life in line with the gospel.
Scott cares for souls and gently reminds us of a better way: of the tension and beauty of following Jesus.
A Christian vision of deep friendship. Wise, biblical, and practical. It could change your life.
I’m glad that Scott has taken such an honest look at something we all need more of: real friendship.
There could not be a better time for a book such as this one.