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Mending the Divides: Creative Love in a Conflicted World Paperback – September 26, 2017
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From the Publisher
We’ve been told that the enemy is to be destroyed. Jesus tells us to love our enemies.
We’ve been told that the other is a threat. Jesus tells us that it’s in the eyes of the other that we see God.
Four-practice framework for Everyday Peacemaking
Discover the humanity, dignity, and image of God in everyone.
Move toward conflict with the tools to heal rather than to win.
Get creative and collaborative in costly love.
Identify & celebrate how God is restoring all things.
"Peace is imperative in a world where ethnic, religious, and political divisions between people are intensifying. But it's only us, as Christ-followers, who can demonstrate the radical love of our Savior and facilitate true and lasting peace--a state of shalom. Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart have provided a timely manual for engaging in the gritty, risky work we're called to when we sign on to build God's kingdom 'on earth as it is in heaven.'" (Rich Stearns, president, World Vision)
"Jesus' infectious peacemaking has taken hold of Jer Swigart and Jon Huckins. This book explains how and why―but even more, how and why they passionately want it to happen in the lives of any who are followers of Jesus. In a world of broken trust, hostile prejudice, religious violence, and pervasive fear, our world desperately needs God's people to be humble, courageous, and just peacemakers. The need for this fruit of the Spirit could hardly be more urgent." (Mark Labberton, president, Fuller Theological Seminary)
"Jon and Jer are called not only to be peacemakers individually but to holistically change the church's understanding and practice of this task. They have put their rich wisdom and experience into this practical, relevant, and timely book that weaves theological insights, personal stories, and practical applications into a comprehensive manual for everyday peacemaking. They remind us that everyday peacemaking is not a side activity of our Christian lives, but core to our walk as disciples of Christ. Through this book, they teach us to lean into conflict with humility and grace, and to move toward the difficult task of building relationships with those on the margins of society who are often our best teachers. At a time when conflict is so easy to instigate and arguments are so easily had, they point to the better way of peace that reflects the power of a broken and resurrected Christ. What would it look like for the church to take seriously its call to bring about peace in a broken and hurting world? This book provides the way!" (Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and policy, World Relief, coauthor of Welcoming the Stranger)
"This book is a call to remember that our faith is not in a warlord but in a slaughtered lamb. It is a call to embody the very nature of God, whose essence is shalom. Far from being an escapist flight into the heavenly hereafter, Jon and Jer direct our attention to the practice of what they call 'everyday peacemaking.' God has launched a 'scandalous and costly' restoration campaign. And he has asked us to join in the ranks―not just in the hereafter, but in the here and now, in conflicted families and fractured communities. Carefully, humbly, and compellingly, Mending the Divides gives us the tools we need for such a time as this―gently and insistently taking our gaze and our affection back to Jesus, who revealed that peace isn't a destination but a way of life." (Laura Truax, author of Love Let Go and Undone)
"I've learned so much about peacemaking and about what it means to be a neighbor from Jon and Jer, and I'm thrilled that so many people will get to learn from them through this timely and essential book. I'll be handing it out left and right because I can't think of very many things more necessary for our communities and our world right now." (Shauna Niequist, author of Present Over Perfect)
"There is a host of Christian books emerging about God's call to justice. Mending the Divides is the only book I have seen that outlines the relationship between justice and peacemaking on multiple levels, from the spiritual foundation to the practical steps we all need to take. If you take nothing else from this book, the stories from the frontlines of shalom could change your life. I am thankful for and encouraged by Jon and Jer's gift to us all." (Alexia Salvatierra, coauthor of Faith-Rooted Organizing)
"One of the most compelling ways followers of Jesus can put the unique beauty of God's kingdom on display is by serving as peacemakers in the midst of conflict. Unfortunately, few Christians have been taught how to do this in their everyday lives. Nor have they ever been shown why doing so is a matter of urgency. This is why this deeply personal, theologically insightful, and immensely practical book is such an important gift to the church. I wish every believer would read this book, for I can guarantee them that they won't finish this book unchanged!" (Greg Boyd, pastor, Woodland Hills Church, author of Is God to Blame? and Letters from a Skeptic)
"At a time when our world is dominated by stories of indifference and injustice, I'm excited to recommend Jon and Jer's new book, Mending the Divides, which is full of hope-filled stories that will inspire you to not give up dreaming and to work for the world God desires for us all." (Noel Castellanos, president, CCDA, author of Where the Cross Meets the Street)
"This is evangelical Christianity at its best: two young Christian friends, devoted to Christ, rooted in Scripture, following Jesus in new directions, utterly unafraid to go where faithful discipleship requires. This road map to the contemporary practice of Christian peacemaking is an extraordinarily practical and inspiring guide for all of us." (David Gushee, professor of Christian ethics, Mercer University, author of Kingdom Ethics and Changing Our Mind)
"What if Christians believed they were the reconciled beloved? If we believed we were worthy of God's own Son who came to reconcile himself to us, we might believe that peacemaking and reconciliation were not just important to God but the heart of God. I was convicted that I can and must do more. Huckins and Swigart make peacemaking real and doable in a world filled with conflict―from families to continents. The theological basis draws the reader deeply into Scripture. The stories woven throughout the book put faces on why peacemaking is an imperative. This book will be invaluable to an adult Sunday school class or as an additional text in a college classroom." (Shirley Hoogstra, president, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities)
About the Author
Jon Huckins is a pastor and the cofounding director of The Global Immersion Project, a peacemaking training organization helping individuals and communities move toward conflict equipped to heal rather than to win. After much international travel and study in the Middle East, Jon focuses his writing and speaking on peacemaking, local/global engagement, and activating the Church as an instrument of peace in our world.
Jon has written for numerous publications including USAToday, Red Letter Christians, Sojourners, and RELEVANT. His books include Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community and Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling, and he is a contributing author to multiple books. Jon regularly speaks at churches, universities, and conferences and has a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in theology and ethics. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Jan, three daughters, and one son, where they colead an intentional Christian community seeking to live as a reconciling presence in their neighborhood of Golden Hill.
Top customer reviews
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Jon and Jer have provided great examples and stories to outline their key principles of Seeing, Immersing, Contending and Restoring as a way to heal broken systems and relationships. Each chapter offers compelling questions to challenge our own personal biases and areas where we might be complicit to conflicts in our community.
The last chapters outline specific steps to take to live out the key principles of everyday peacemaking and as a student of Jon & Jer's through the Global Immersion Project, I can attest that their practical steps do work!
One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "Everyday Peacemakers are men and women who choose to see the humanity, dignity, and image of God in others and who understand the plight of the voiceless." For such a time as this, we need everyday peacemakers who are willing to see the humanity and dignity in others and treat them as unique individuals made in the image of God.
If you are struggling with the conflict and brokenness in our country and world today, this book will provide great insights on steps you can take to bring healing!
This brief book is so needed.
I was lucky enough to be gifted an advance copy, but I bought a digital copy (and 10 more!) just so I can give that one away to someone else who will need it.
This is like a spiritual successor to "The Irresistible Revolution" but way more practical.
Jon and Jer have poured the essence of their life's work into an easy to understand, compelling, and utterly practical book that is going to equip people who want to practice the kind of discipleship Jesus calls us to - and never knew how or where to start.
This is a good read for anyone that's been frustrated by the church not looking Christlike.
This is a good read for anyone that's been looking for avenues to take theology out of the lofty academic framework and apply it to the mundane and nitty gritty parts of life.
It's challenging and life giving.
A true gift.
See, immerse, contend, restore; Mending the Divides offers this clear and concise framework for peacemaking. This book, these practices are desperately needed in our conflicted world today.