Title: The Peacemaking Church: 8 Biblical Keys to Resolve Conflict and Preserve Unity
Author: Curtis Heffelfinger
Genre: Christian Living/Church Life
Publishing Date: November 20, 2018
About the Book:
When human beings are involved in any endeavor, conflict is inevitable. But the best fight is the one a church never has to have because its members have been intentionally cultivating practices that lead to peace and preserve unity.
Whether they are dealing with conflict right now or hoping to avoid it later, church members, pastors, and ministry leaders will benefit from the proactive approach to peacemaking found in The Peacemaking Church, which will equip them with the knowledge and practices they need to instill in their church leadership and membership. Foreword by Ken Sande.
Conflict can be such a tricky concept to deal with regardless of what it’s over. Conflict within the Church is easily observable through all of the denominations in existence and the often public disagreements between church leaders. This book is geared more towards pastors and other leaders in the church, but the content is also relevant to other attenders.
This book deals more with conflict within the church, based more in doctrine and theological differences than with sin issues. There are core beliefs every Christian must hold, but there are other pieces that may be interpreted differently by people and in many cases that’s okay. We aren’t meant to fully understand everything on this side of heaven. There are things of God that are simply above our earthly comprehension. Unless the beliefs someone holds are clearly anti-biblical and would interfere with the necessary core beliefs, agreeing to disagree is acceptable. Not everything needs to be an argument. We are to aim to live peaceably with our other brothers and sisters in Christ.
Being a legalist today is like being a modern-day pharisee. One specific chapter was talking about judgment and division based on personal convictions instead of sin. There are the homeschooling moms, the working moms, the stay-at-home moms, the single women, and the list goes on. Instead of unity there is often judgment towards others’ personal convictions or preferences. This doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be so.
Something emphasized throughout this book is personal responsibility. We cannot control the actions of others, but we are responsible for our own. We should do all within our power to live peaceably with others. we should seek ways to avoid arguments and confrontation, and instead seek to resolve conflict and preserve unity. This is both encouraging and convicting. The author gives multiple good examples as well as possible ways to work through and resolve the conflict.
This book is a handy tool in learning how to resolve conflict better and seek unity within the body. Again, while geared towards pastors and church leaders, it can easily be useful for others as well. There is enough conflict in the world today. We should be aiming to live peaceably with our brothers and sisters in Christ so that we are better able to accomplish the Great Commission. Instead of working against each other we should be working together in unity through Christ.
*I recieved a copy of this book from Baker Books Publishing. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.