I thoroughly enjoyed Drew Hunter’s Made for Friendship. Especially in an individualistic and digitized culture, Hunter’s call to value and pursue true Christian friendship is needed and encouraging.
Hunter does a great job of communicating the importance of friendship drawing on many saints in the history of the church. He also provides a biblical theology of friendship that clarifies what friendship looks like according to God. The book does provide practical suggestions and reflection questions for the reader but given most readers are not naturals at friendship, more specific comments on growing in one’s ability to make and be a friend (especially with people in our workplaces or churches that are not like us) could have been helpful.
As I’m in a life stage in which it’s easy to devalue friendship (busyness with ministry and three young children), I found Hunter’s book personally refreshing and challenging. The main application for me is to deliberately pursue friendships and grow certain acquaintanceships into friendships.
While the importance as well as the time and energy demands of family and work are obvious to most people, the importance and worthwhile commitment of friendship tends to be downplayed. Hopefully, many people can read this book and make the most of the present opportunities for friendship now, knowing it will be a worthwhile pursuit.
I received a complimentary copy from Crossway’s Blog Review Program.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
While I lived with my master in St. Michael’s, there was a white young man, a Mr. Wilson, who proposed to keep a Sabbath school for the instruction of such slaves as might be disposed to learn to read the New Testament. We met but three times, when Mr. West and Mr. Fairbanks, both class-leaders, with many others, came upon us with sticks and other missiles, drove us off, and forbade us to meet again. Thus ended our little Sabbath school in the pious town of St. Michael’s…
Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others…
What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no reference whatever to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference – so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.
Believing and Obeying Jesus Christ: The Urbana ’79 Compendium
Edited by John W. Alexander
Chapter 9: That I Might Believe and Obey
Jesus really had only two verbs—come, go … come, go. “Come to me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Come to the cross for salvation. Come be reconciled to God. Come repent of your sins. Go into the world and be a witness even unto death.”
With his commands ringing in their ears, the disciples set out not only to reach the world, but to turn it upside down. If ever there was a generation that needs turning upside down, it’s ours—morally, socially, politically, spiritually. And this crowd here tonight could do it. There was only a handful then. There are sixteen, seventeen thousand of us! What could be done?
The disciples suffered hardship and persecution in floggings and beatings, and in death, but they said, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
Thus, we are a people under authority. We go because we have been sent. I don’t go preaching and traveling because I enjoy it anymore. To tell you the truth, I don’t. I go because I’m under orders. I would like to sit back in my mountain home in North Carolina with my wife.
 “And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’  Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
Man thinks “you get what you deserve,” but God grieves over the deserved suffering of sinners.
Veronika Decides to Die
The man in the suit went on: “Nasrudin arranged to give a lecture at two o’clock in the afternoon, and it looked set to be a great success: The thousand seats were completely sold out and more than seven hundred people were left outside, watching the lecture on closed-circuit television.
“At two o’clock precisely an assistant of Nasrudin’s came in, saying that, for unavoidable reasons, the lecture would begin late. Some got up indignantly, asked for their money back, and left. Even so a lot people remained both inside and outside the lecture hall.
“By four in the afternoon, the Sufi master had still not appeared, and people gradually began to leave the place, picking up their money at the box office. The working day was coming to an end; it was time to go home. By six o’clock, the original seventeen hundred spectators had dwindled to less than a hundred.
“At that moment Nasrudin came in. he appeared to be extremely drunk and began to flirt with a beautiful young woman sitting in the front row.
“Astonished, the people who remained began to feel indignant. How could the man behave like that after making them wait four solid hours? There were some disapproving murmurs, but the Sufi master ignored them. He went on, in a loud voice, to say how sexy the young woman was, and invited her to go with him to France.”
Some teacher! Thought Veronika. Just as well I’ve never believed in such things.
“After cursing the people who were complaining, Nasrudin tried to get up but fell heavily to the floor. Disgusted, more people decided to leave, saying it was pure charlatanism, that they would denounce the degrading spectacle to the press.
Only nine people remained. As soon as the final group of outraged spectators had left, Nasrudin got up; he was completely sober, his eyes glowed, and he had about him an air of great authority and wisdom. “Those of you who stayed are the ones who will hear me,” he said. “You have passed through the two hardest tests on the spiritual road: the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage to not be disappointed with what you encounter. It is you I will teach.”