cover image Grace in the Gray: A More Loving Way to Disagree

Grace in the Gray: A More Loving Way to Disagree

Mike Donehey. Waterbrook, $18 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-19418-8

Donehey (Finding God’s Life for My Will), vocalist and guitarist of now-defunct Christian band Tenth Avenue, outlines in this clear-eyed guide his philosophy of using humility and kindness to ease conflict. As he makes clear, it’s not about seeking false harmony but rather learning to lovingly tolerate disagreement, because “even when... our arguments [are] foolproof, if our postures are crooked, it won’t matter much in the end.” To that end, Donehey maps out four aims for every argument: “1. subjectify those we’ve objectified, 2. empathize with those we’ve vilified, 3. humanize those we’ve deified, and 4. see that our posture is just as important as our position.” In doing so, the author contends, and removing simplified, objectified labels—in other words, not defining others by their viewpoints—it’s easier to view those who hold different viewpoints as worthy of compassion. For readers exhausted by a divisive and reactive culture, Donehey’s call to love one’s neighbor will serve as a balm. Christian readers will be buoyed by Donehey’s heartening message that “when we can admit we’re wrong but aren’t defeated by it, we are set free from shame.” (Jan.)