cover image Irresistible Faith: Becoming the Kind of Christian the World Can’t Resist

Irresistible Faith: Becoming the Kind of Christian the World Can’t Resist

Scott Sauls. Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4002-0180-8

Sauls (Jesus Outside the Lines), pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., provides conversational, scripture-heavy advice on how to incorporate Jesus’s example of openness into one’s life in this upbeat book. He begins with a simple question: “What would it look like for the local church to become the most diverse and welcoming—rather than the most homogeneous and inhospitable—community on earth?” Sauls unpacks passages from the Bible relating to the need for community, kindness, and faith-filled connection. For instance, he does a close reading of Genesis to stress the importance of marriage and then examines the Pauline epistles to illustrate how those without family also form the core of communities. He focuses particularly on Jesus’s speech on hospitality from John 13: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Woven throughout are stories of lessons in humility learned from figures Sauls admires, such as Austrian businessman and Christian philanthropist Karl Rabeder, who gave his fortune away to charities, and J.R.R. Tolkien, who explained how imagination and reason are deeply reconciled in the gospel accounts. Though the book greatly lacks in practical advice, it is a readable, hopeful exploration of creating an inclusive Christianity through a close reading of scripture. (Jan.)