Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pursuing Peace

Robert D. Jones (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as a biblical counseling professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a church elder, certified biblical counselor, a Christian conciliator, an adjunct instructor, and a church reconciliation trainer with Peacemaker Ministries and has served as an adjunct trainer with the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). Jones is the author of Uprooting Anger and has written numerous ministry booklets and articles. 
He is the author of the Resources for Changing Lives booklets Forgiveness, Angry at God? and Bad Memories, and has written numerous articles and book reviews for the Journal of Biblical Counseling. Jones is a member of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC).
An experienced conference speaker, Jones presents “The Peacemaker Seminar” at local churches and counseling organizations throughout the United States, and in Spain and Brazil. He presents workshops at conferences for NANC and the Biblical Counseling Institute. Jones live in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife and two sons.
Jones has written what I consider the most well-written, most practical and helpful non-fiction biblical books I have read in quite some time.  Don't be mislead by the sub-title:  A Christian Guide To Handling Our Conflicts.  Many times when we see the word "guide" in a book's title, we think, "Just another 'handbook'".

This book is far, far from your drab old handbook or guide.

From the back cover:
You have conflict in your life - we all do.  You encounter it in your home, your workplace, your school, or even in your church.  All around us tensions exist and disputes persist.  Offered here is a step-by-step process for pursuing peace in ALL your relationships and a tool you can use to help others.  This guide is:
  • Biblical - relies on the absolute authority, sufficiency, and life-giving power of God's Spirit-breathed Word
  • Christ-Centered - depends on the forgiving and empowering grace of Jesus
  • Practical - provides concrete action steps, case examples, discussion questions, and suggested language to handle specific situations
  • Proven - offers tried and true methods from a pastor, professor, counselor and certified Christian concilliator who has led couples, churches and Christian schools to make peace for over twenty-five years.
Packed with wisdom and practical techniques, this manageable book on reconciliation will send you on your way to pursuing peace while helping others to do the same.

I really liked everything about this book from the cover design to the organization of the material within the covers.  The book includes the following twelve chapters:
  • Finding Hope in the God of Peace
  • A God's Eye View of Conflict
  • Keeping God Central
  • Getting to the Heart of Our Conflicts
  • Owning Our Sins before God Our Savior
  • Apologizing That Makes a Difference
  • Cultivating Grace Attitudes
  • To Forgive or Not to Forgive
  • Battling Bitterness by Grace
  • Redeeming the Art of Rebuke and Granting Forgiveness
  • Reconciliation in Action
  • When Nothing Works
At the end of each chapter there are questions for personal reflection or group discussion.

I was most impressed first by the solid biblical foundation of the book.  Next, Jones doesn't just give a lot of good information, he gives the reader practical steps to follow to apply the information that has been presented.  For me, that is what sets this book apart from many of the other "how to" books I've read.

Jones' writing is engaging and his thoughts and ideas are presented in a well organized manner.  He utilizes the "list" technique quite often throughout the book making information easy to find and refer back to when needed.

"The Perfect Peacemaker was brutally killed.  Yet Jesus understood that pleasing His Father was His highest aim in life.  Even His supreme display of horizontal love for His people - the cross - was not done apart from this God-pleasing motive:  'Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.'" (Eph. 5:1-2)  *From chapter 12, page 183-183.
Pursuing Peace:  A Christian Guide To Handling Our Conflicts is published by Crossway.  Thank you Crossway for sending me a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review. 

The book can be ordered from Crossway by going HERE.

The book can be ordered from by going HERE.