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Peppermint-Filled Piñatas: Breaking Through Tolerance and Embracing Love Paperback – May 15, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Relationship evangelism is the message of this book from Bryant, "the bald white guy" on staff at the 80-nationalities multicultural Christian community Mosaic in Los Angeles. "Love is the new apologetic," writes Bryant. For too long, he argues, the world has been made aware of what Christians hate rather than whom they love; what they are against rather than what they support. Christians, he says, "have created an environment where we are seen as judgmental, irrelevant, mean, and hypocritical." Mixing scripture, humor and personal anecdotes (including a great one about a filling station clerk), Bryant invites Christians to develop a "party theology": invite others to share in your life, and accept invitations to participate in other people's lives, especially if they are different from you in some way. The content is familiar: look to connect through a common cause, hobby or passion. Learn conflict resolution and practice it. Break stereotypes, whether they are ethnic, economic, sexual, religious or political. Apart from one confusing anecdote about a schizophrenic who seems to get well through Christian service, this is a solid book for Christians who have "head knowledge" about relationship evangelism, but need encouragement rather than how-to steps to put that knowledge into action. (June)
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Review

Relationship evangelism is the message of this book from Bryant, 'the bald white guy' on staff at the 80-nationalities multicultural Christian community Mosaic in Los Angeles. 'Love is the new apologetic,' writes Bryant. For too long, he argues, the world has been made aware of what Christians hate rather than whom they love; what they are against rather than what they support. Christians, he says, 'have created an environment where we are seen as judgmental, irrelevant, mean, and hypocritical.' Mixing scripture, humor and personal anecdotes (including a great one about a filling station clerk), Bryant invites Christians to develop a 'party theology': invite others to share in your life, and accept invitations to participate in other people's lives, especially if they are different from you in some way. The content is familiar: look to connect through a common cause, hobby or passion. Learn conflict resolution and practice it. Break stereotypes, whether they are ethnic, economic, sexual, religious or political. Apart from one confusing anecdote about a schizophrenic who seems to get well through Christian service, this is a solid book for Christians who have 'head knowledge' about relationship evangelism, but need encouragement rather than how-to steps to put that knowledge into action. (June) -- Publisher's Weekly <br><br>
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; annotated edition edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310273846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310273844
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,804,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Hewitt on July 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Eric Bryant did a wonderful job showing, explaining, and encouraging the reader to love those and our neighbors we tend to overlook on a daily basis. He even shows us how to show love to those we might even dislike. And how we are to befriend everyone so we can help them to discover and experience what a true relationship with God is all about.

Isn't this what Jesus did? Isn't this Jesus' call to all of us?

Eric used first-hand accounts throughout his life and in his leadership role at Mosaic in Los Angeles to help the reader to show love and grace and to understand how to build relationships with those who hold radically different beliefs from dispite what their race or religious background may be.

I highly recommend this book.
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Most churches don't react well to diversity. The inclination is to turn inward and preserve what is familiar.

But is that the right way to react to those people that are different?

Not according to the author, a staff leader at Mosaic, an LA church known for its diversity. Using humor and personal stories, Eric re-introduces a better way, one that originated with a humble Carpenter over two thousand years ago.

People need to be seen as unique individuals, important in their own right. Love is the strongest apologetic there is, but has been lost in the plethora of programs and rules. Outdated ways that no longer work in this more diverse world.

But this new, yet not new, way is risky. Relationship building takes time. Stepping out of one's comfort zone is a frightening prospect for many. Pain can be the result when one's attempts at friendship are rejected. Most people are content to remain within the familiar, under the sometimes false assumption it is a safer place to be.

Eric speaks from experience. As a BWG (bald white guy) he's experienced rejection and criticism based on his looks and others' assumptions. But he hasn't allowed those experiences to make him bitter or cynical. Instead, he reacts with humor and grace, telling us of a better way to live and interact with those around us. This is a book that has a home on my keeper shelf.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book. Eric does a masterful job of reinforcing Jesus' call to love others, in a very practical way. He also reveals some of the "secrets" he has learned in his life and leadership role at Mosaic in LA that have helped people connect with Christ despite of ethnic, religious, political, and even moral differences. This book encourages us to love the people we might normally overlook or even dislike, befriending them and helping them to discover a true relationship with God.
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I read this book for a church growth group/Bible study, and I loved it! It really makes you change the way you think about how to act as a Christian and was great for discussion. I even let my mom borrow it so her Bible study could read it together.
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Eric Bryant has written a great first-hand account of going beyond tolerance to love in living out the gospel in his LA community. Filled with Scripture, biblical insights, and authentic experiences, Eric weaves a story of love, grace and hope for the world we find ourselves in. Robert McKee has written, "Storytelling is the creative demonstration of truth. A story is the living proof of an idea, the conversion of idea to action." Eric lives the story and so proves the idea of the life-changing, life-engaging gospel.
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Approaching this publication with a non-critical mindset, I found it honest and direct. Peppermint filled pinatas genuinely approaches the importance of relationships with intentionality and humility. Eric displays humanity as God sees it, a beautiful thing in all its diversity. The later chapters brilliantly tie together God's heart for his church. Be intentional to complete the entire book. This truly is a must read for all those who call themselves Christ followers.
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Eric Bryant's Peppermint-Filled Pinatas at 211 pages is a surprisingly easy read with a powerful punch! Eric's conversational style makes this book feel like sitting down to a conversation with Eric himself over coffee. At first, his non-threatening, conversational style lured me in and finally hit me between the eyes with the reality that I have failed to love those different from me, and has helped to birth a desire deep inside to see others as God sees them. This book is a call to a radical kind of lifestyle that is ignorant of the ethnic, racial, social, or economic backgrounds of those we meet. Eric advocates for a type of discipleship that begins at meeting people, regardless of who they are, or where they are, and showing them the kind of love that Christ would. Peppermint-Filled Pinatas advocates moving beyond simply tolerating people who are different to engaging them, loving them as an expression of the love of Jesus.

This book is divided into two sections. Part 1: People Matter Most, is a call to get out of the house and find ways to engage people. It essentially is a framework for why people matter and deserve our attention. Part 2: Love Is The New Apologetic, spells out the how. While Part 1 is the why, Part 2 explains that through practice and engaging others, we truly can have a positive influence on those far from Christ. Since Eric is based in the diverse city of Los Angeles, he realizes that most people will not decide to follow Jesus simply based on intellectual arguments alone. Rather, actions are necessary to break through the stereotypes that non-Christians often have of Christians. He advocates for building relationships that allow for belonging before believing.
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