We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
- ISBN: 978-0340964323
- Pages: 256
- Price: £8.99
This book is intended for those who want to improve their relationships with those they meet each day. The author identifies seven characteristics of a loving person: kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity and honesty. He asserts that the only real hope for the world with its global problems is if people attempt to put such love into practice.
The often visible choices people make in the sacrificial giving of time, money and even life itself are vital in their place. However, the author argues that even more important are the many small and often unnoticed actions that spring from a practical love.
The concept of the book is good. In an age where so many feel depression, hostility and isolation we do desperately need instruction in practical love. The lack of it is painfully obvious both locally and globally. The book is full of stories, anecdotes and bullet points of application. Many of its examples are worth looking at; others tend to be trite or annoying.
The greatest weakness of the book is its lack of a strong biblical foundation. Although God and Christ are mentioned, this alone is insufficient. Surely the best possible example of how to live out the seven characteristics of love is to look at the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The last three chapters were the most helpful, dealing with love as a way of life in marriage, parenting and the workplace. However, it was only in the last chapter –– on the motivation to love –– that any real spiritual application was made.
The book could be useful as a basis for a series of seminars or studies on the subject, but the American approach would probably need to be adapted for the UK.