No Fear in Love: Loving Others the Way God Loves Us by Andy Braner was an interesting read. When the author has to state several times that he is not a Universalist nor is he promoting universalism, you know you have a book that has some edgy concepts. From what I could tell, Andy Braner did not pull a Rob Bell and go into the realm of universalism, though there were times when I was wondering how long he was going to make the reader wait before once again affirming the need for salvation through Jesus Christ alone (which he consistently did throughout the book).
That said, here are some of the things that stood out in No Fear in Love:
Andy Braner’s heart for those who do not know Jesus is evident throughout the book. His primary push for readers is to cast out fear by loving others through active listening. Braner encourages people to take a real interest in others who are different and hold differing beliefs. He promotes the truly good advice of listening with a learning spirit when dialoguing with others. Through this active listening and learning approach, the author is advocating that doors will open for conversations about the Christian faith with people who may otherwise be skeptical and hostile towards Christians and the faith.
As true as the advice (and his experiences that help back up his advice) may be, I was left wondering if Braner would ever suggest a time for a person to actively engage in a presentation of the gospel during the course of a conversation or if even going there was taboo. I also wondered if there was ever a moment when the author would suggest an attempt to persuade people to receive Jesus rather than having many conversations.
I understand that the author is trying to push the pendulum a bit, and therefore is trying to promote the good habit of listening with a learning spirit over aiming for a clear presentation of the gospel as the first go-to tool. But I would have liked it if he had a little more balance in the book, too.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.