If you have never read a book by Ajith Fernando, then you’re missing out. I have gleaned much from previous titles including Jesus Driven Ministry and A Call to Joy and Pain. Both books I have returned to on more than one occasion and I suspect that I will return to his most recent book entitled Reclaiming Love.
Phil Ryken, now President of Wheaton College, produced a book entitled Loving the Way Jesus Loves and it too is on 1 Corinthians 13. Both Fernando and Ryken’s work demonstrate outstanding Biblical fidelit, convicting application, and contemporary relevance. With that said, Fernando’s work will have wider appeal, not only because it’s a bit shorter, but because if his global ministry and international experience. There is a richness that Fernando brings to his writing that is hard to find in a strictly U.S. context. And yet, Fernando understands how to apply the Biblical text to the human condition.
The book is divided in to consecutive expositions, but doesn’t read like a commentary. Because of that, the book can be read one chapter at a time, not necessarily in order for devotional purposes or consecutively to understand the flow of the chapter. Either way, every reader will benefit greatly. For brevity sake, let me give one example. On pg. 173 we read, “One of the biggest theological battles I have had in my life has been whether it is truly possible to believe that people can be transformed by grace.” This is a bold, refreshingly honest statement that doesn’t shy from orthodoxy. On the contrary, Ferndando concludes with this thought: “I simply cannot give in to cynicism…the Bible tells me that there is nothing too hard for God.”
In a book on love, this is a beautiful statement. Who of us has not been hurt by people we love and yet, we cannot become cynical, because over time cynicism will choke the love out of us. Chapter 18, then, is worth purchasing the book alone. But, there is so much that is both quotable here that one can utilize this in small group, personal, or pastoral study. Once again, Ajith Fernando sets himself apart as someone who loves people, loves the Bible, and knows how to handle both very well.
(I received a copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review in which I was not required to write positive comments.)
Get to Know Ajith Fernando a bit (the link is below)