cover image No Greater Love: A Biblical Vision for Friendship

No Greater Love: A Biblical Vision for Friendship

Rebecca McLaughlin. Moody, $15.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-802-42892-9

“Friendship at its best is just as powerful as any other love,” but “we will only gain the full good of this gift if we are also ready for the risk and vulnerability of opening our hearts,” asserts McLaughlin (Jesus Through the Eyes of Women) in this earnest ode to an essential element of Christian life. Drawing on personal anecdotes and biblical analysis, the author discusses the importance of reaching out to those who attend church solo; finding like-minded “comrades” who drive one another toward “the work the Lord is calling you to do”; and displaying appropriate physical affection to friends, even in a Western culture that often shies away from nonromantic touch. Elsewhere, she sensitively broaches less discussed topics, such as how to navigate sexual attraction in Christian friendships (including same-sex ones), and issues that arise in friendships with those of other faiths. While parts of her message tread well-worn ground (including the notion that “we... demonstrate our love for Him by our love for one another”), readers will appreciate McLaughlin’s sincere reappraisal of friendship’s value within a culture that often prizes romantic and familial bonds above all else, and welcome her wise observation that ”each bond “shine[s] lights on different aspects of God’s love.” This will resonate with those eager to forge closer bonds with their pewmates. (Sept.)