cover image A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in an Age of Us Against Them

A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in an Age of Us Against Them

Scott Sauls. Thomas Nelson, $18.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4002-1655-0

Sauls (Irresistible Faith), senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., provides a fresh look at the Christian response to division and hostility in what he considers today’s “culture of suspicion, mistrust, and us-against-them.” Much of society has come to view some Christians as hypocrites and partisan political opponents, he writes. Worried about a decline in evangelism (included are statistics showing Christians to be increasingly unlikely to share their faith), he cites a lack of Christian empathy as the root cause for the current passiveness of many believers and argues for rejection of religious pride and emulation of Jesus’s spirit toward others: “Armed with a gentle answer, modeled and provided by our gentle Savior himself, it is time we got about the business of mending our fractured world with a presence that is less combative and more gentle and kind.” For readers apt to jump to righteous retaliation against wrongdoing or who feel forced to turn the other cheek, he suggests responding to criticism with grace, harnessing the energy of anger for good, and speaking out against injustices to strike a balance between righteous anger and forgiveness. Sauls’s ability to acknowledge the shaky reputation of Christianity without judgment is refreshing and welcome. This patiently argued work will appeal to Christians as a persuasive rebuke to defaulting to defensiveness. [em](June) [/em]