Item description for Who Is My Enemy?: Welcoming People the Church Rejects by Rich Nathan...
Overview Outlines the perspectives of such commonly ostracized groups as feminists, homosexuals, AIDS patients, and New Age practicioners while calling for Christians to rethink exclusive behaviors and accept greater congregational diversity.
Publishers Description Are You at War with Someone Jesus Loves?Many Christians are. We find it much easier to judge those outside the church than to love them. Yet Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. It is time we took on his attitude of servanthood--time to share not canned presentations, but our hearts and lives. Rich Nathan helps us understand how. Tackling five knotty current issues, he takes us inside the worldviews and street-level realities of postmodernists, New Agers, homosexuals, feminists, and liberals in order to better understand them, and to see beyond categories to real faces, real needs, and real hearts that long to be welcomed. Nathan reveals both the errors that we must challenge, and unexpected truths that will challenge us. Most important, he helps us to see individuals who long to experience the redemptive touch of Jesus--through us.
Awards and Recognitions Who Is My Enemy?: Welcoming People the Church Rejects by Rich Nathan has received the following awards and recognitions -
Gold Medallion Book Awards - 2003 Finalist - Christianity/Society category
Citations And Professional Reviews Who Is My Enemy?: Welcoming People the Church Rejects by Rich Nathan has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 03/01/2002 page 73
Publishers Weekly - 02/11/2002 page 183
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.04" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.74" Weight: 0.94 lbs.
Release Date Feb 5, 2002
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 031023882X ISBN13 9780310238829 UPC 025986238827
Availability 0 units.
More About Rich Nathan
Rich Nathan is senior pastor of Vineyard Church of Columbus, Ohio, and serves on the Association of Vineyard Churches National Executive Board. Raised in the Jewish faith, he taught business law at Ohio State University and received his Juris Doctorate with honors from Ohio State University. A popular international conference speaker, Nathan is a coauthor of Empowered Evangelicals. He and his wife and two children live in Westerville, Ohio.
Reviews - What do customers think about Who Is My Enemy??
A good survey from the right Apr 21, 2009
First, it's important to know where I come from. I'm politically left-of-middle and theologically right-of-middle. I say this because it's always important to understand the context of a person. Rich Nathan writes a great book for helping those on the far right, both theologically and politically, to see the point of view and Christian response to that view of those to the left (or farther out). Nathan is able to present information about these views to the reader so that the reader learns.
My problem with Nathan's writing, however, is that he often adopts the style whereby the mere presentation of a fact is intended to elicit a gut response. In each section he will often leave facts unanalyzed, as though the reader ought to be fully aware of the implications of said facts; such a presentation leaves this book open to many assaults on an intellectual front.
In general, I believe that this book will be helpful for right-leaning Christians who suspect there's something not-entirely-evil about the left, but are not sure where to start in that regard. It is most certainly a survey of the issues -- and neither Nathan nor I make any claim other than that. If you want to dig in-depth, politically or theologically, into any of the issues presented, you'll find this book as a lauchpad, and nothing more. However, moderates and (especially) liberals ought to seek a different source of information.
Important insights on difficult topic Sep 17, 2004
Because of some of my recent readings, books written from a liberal point of view, this book was timely and well received by me. I think it's important to understand the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of those that have diametrically opposed viewpoints and world views from ourselves (regardless of which side of an issue we are on).
As a conservative Christian I often find myself speaking or communicating to someone that has liberal and/or non-Christian world views. Since Jesus accepted and loved those that were often on the outside of the religious authorities circle of acceptability, and since he calls me to do the same, I think it's important to understand the other side and to try and find places of commonality. Rich Nathan does a good job of pointing out places where Christians can find commonality with those that are often considered way too far away from a Christian world view to be worth trying to communicate with, much less expecting to help facilitate a conversion experience with.
I think Nathan could have been more focused in a few places, he spent some time in some of the chapters pointing out why a certain viewpoint or belief was wrong from a Christian standpoint, which I felt was redundant for the obvious reason that he was preaching to the choir.
I liked the places where he found common ground such as in the brief history of Susan B. Anthony, an early feminist that fought not just for suffrage but also against abortion. I think Nathan did a good job of showing how many that are outside of Christianity may very well have attitudes and feelings that are moving them towards Christ.
I think this book should be read by any in the Church that have mixed feelings or strong feelings against those groups of people that are ardently anti-Christian or simply just have world views and beliefs that put them at odds with the Christian faith. Nathan does a real good job of showing, and giving real life examples of, ways that we in the Church can reach out and serve those that we seemingly have nothing in common with and perhaps even view as being hostile towards us.
Rich Nathan doesn't bend over backwards trying to suppress his view that sin is ugly to God and hurts our relationship with Him. Those reading this book will not feel justified in lifestyles or beliefs contrary to traditional Christian beliefs, and in fact, I'm quite sure that those in groups discussed here would be offended with a reading of this book, however, Nathan is true to his faith, with out which, this book would have been worse than meaningless.
I give this book a strong recommendation to any that feel it would be helpful to them (I sort of felt I was "in the choir" so to speak). My four star rating isn't due to the quality and purpose of Nathan's teaching here, just simply because of the high quality of work I'm comparing it too. Again, I do recommend this to those that struggle at all with being loving and kind to those they find themselves "at war" with.
Good book, not so good church Aug 21, 2004
Rich Nathan did a great job arguing for acceptance and loving those most churches reject. However when my friend and I attended his church we found it not so welcoming if you happen to be gay. I think they rotate pastors, we went twice and never got to hear Rich speak. I hope he can have more influance on those in his own church, I don't think they have read this book yet.
Very Timely and Very Neccesary Jun 12, 2002
This is a phenominal book for Christians of all stripes. It is very well thought out and incredibly well written. My only complaint is that Nathan sometimes goes so far to show us how to reach out a loving hand but it is hard to see clearly how far we are to go. The stuff about the environmentalist surely must have a line. I am from Seattle and I know that there is definatly a differance between what I see as "saving" the earth and what many of the other people here do. But then again all of us as Christians need to stretch further and if Nathan doesn't raise the bar (which he most certainly does better than anyone) than we will all use excuses and prejudices when dealling with those not like us.
The welcome of the Kingdom Apr 14, 2002
Every evangelical church leader in America should have a copy of this book. Rich Nathan believes that, just as Jesus welcomed prostitutes, tax-collectors and other "sinners" into the Kingdom and did not view them as his enemies, so we should do the same to those whose views and lifestyles we find in opposition to ours: post-modernists, feminists, homosexuals, new-agers, and liberals. Not only that, but people in these groups have much to teach the church if only we would listen. Often in a book such as this, there is concern that the author is soft on sin. Nothing could be further from the truth in this case. Nathan is uncompromising with the issue of sin, but is also uncompromising on the issue of God's grace. By modeling love and acceptance at the church he pastors in Columbus, Ohio, Nathan has seen many transformed lives of people who were formerly far away from Christ. In this book, Nathan examines many "hot-button" issues among Christians, and discusses them in a very even-handed manner. Very educational, and very necessary reading.