THE BODY BROKEN: Answering God's Call to Love One Another

Robert Benson, Author . Doubleday $21.95 (157p) ISBN 978-0-385-50614-4

For those brave writers who attempt to dispense spiritual wisdom from their own experiences, each sentence can be fraught with peril. Those who traffic in their own experiences of God for a public audience run the risk of disclosing too much or too little—having too many answers to be convincing, or not enough to satisfy the hungry reader. What saves Episcopal layman and veteran spiritual writer Benson's autobiographical musings from becoming routine is his willingness to share his struggles with a specific issue: why is the fellowship of believers broken into so many competing parties? Benson's desire to understand, respect and honor the faith of other Christians is a powerful force here, animating that which otherwise might have seemed mundane. Reflecting on how difficult it is for even those bound by a mutual faith to seek a common scriptural understanding, Benson comments: "We are not called to explain the Christ; we called to follow the Christ. We are not called to build walls that keep his friends apart from each other; we are called to build the kingdom together." Alternatively tender, sad, regretful and joyous, Benson offers his tales with the honesty of a man who doesn't pretend to have all the answers. He brings to the topic a profound, if chastened, sense of God's presence in his daily life and relationships. Benson's passion will appeal to many readers seeking a well-crafted meditation on a topic that has persistently bemused Christians of all denominations. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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