Item description for Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship by Paul J. Wadell...
Overview Draws connections between the church's worship, Christian friendship and Christian virtues, emphasizing that mission and discipleship can be seen as friendship with God and with one another.
Publishers Description How do Christians understand friendship and intimacy? How does worship form Christians into a community of the friends of God? What virtues does God call us to incorporate into our lives? In "Becoming Friends," Paul Wadell explores the connections between worship, justice, friendship, and the life we are called to live. This engaging and accessible book offers a fresh viewpoint from which to explore the nature of Christian friendship. Such friendship, Wadell contends, is more than a bonding of people with similar interests, a "ritual of hopeless consolation." True Christian friendship summons us to love all of our neighbors. Wadell examines obstacles to and characteristics of true friendship and, drawing from the works of Augustine, Aelred of Rievaulx, and other Christian exemplars, contends that we are called to serve God through friendship and that this calling requires us to cultivate certain virtues--especially hope, justice, and forgiveness. "Becoming Friends" offers a provocative look into the nature and importance of true Christian friendship. Anyone looking to reflect on the indispensable role of good friendships in the Christian life will find this a hopeful and encouraging book.
Citations And Professional Reviews Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship by Paul J. Wadell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 05/27/2002 page 55
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Paul J. Wadell is associate professor of religious studies at St. Norbert College, DePere, Wisconsin. His previous works include Friendship and the Moral Life, Friends of God: The Primacy of Love, and Morality.
Reviews - What do customers think about Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship?
Becoming Friends Dec 1, 2008
In Becoming Friends, Paul J. Wadell claims that human life is incomplete without friends. He believes friendship is as inescapable as our need for food, drink, clothing, and shelter. As defined in the book, a quality friendship is an attraction to another person involving liking and enjoying him/her with an added commitment to freeing him/her from destructive sins (i.e. acedia), and fantasies. For the Christian, Wadell claims friendship manifests itself in three essential ways; friendship with God, friendship with others, and friendship with the church in correlation to the world. Together these friendships coalesce to define Christians as the "community of friends of God."
Wadell believes friendships should serve one's life in Christ and vice versa. He claims that friendship requires a since of other-centeredness with mutual benevolence being the shared virtue. As such, he shows how friendships are more of a surrender and loss of control to another human (or God) where one exposes him/herself in hopes of reciprocation and healing. Drawing from past church writers including St. Thomas Aquinas, John Chrysostom, Aelred of Rievaulx, and Augustine he writes, "If we are intimate with God we will know how to be intimate with one another." With that said, he also writes conversely about how we will know God's love for us is real through the `real friends' who love us.
Becoming Friends additionally extrapolates on the `barriers to' and `results of' friendship. Wadell is quick to point out that we as members of the capitalist economy all long for intimacy but that our culture runs counter to it. He speaks of how geographical mobility (i.e. live in one town, work in another city), radical individualism, and capitalism set people against each other telling people to value consumerism instead of intimacy. The result is that our culture produces over-detached people. Speaking more positively, he explains the constructive results of friendship. It teaches us how to love, keeps us humble, and gets us involved in the `ministry of justice'. The friends of God, he claims, cannot ignore this.
In conclusion, Becoming Friends is a great book that shows how individuals must learn to let people know their `inner history'. It is a call to the church to be faithful in its identity as the friends of God, which means getting involved in the ministry of justice. This means it must be a befriending community where intimacy and friendship can be learned. Lastly, it is presented that forgiveness has the last word in friendship. Wadell explains several different stages of the forgiveness process, which is essential to friendship.
Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, etc. Mar 4, 2006
This is actually a very readable and interesting book. I read it when my Sunday School class studied it together. Written in easily understandable text, it is a good overview of what believer's should be able to expect of one another when in Christian community. I would recommend it for either individual or group study.