The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus

Overview

Jesus didn't see a sick woman, he saw a daughter of God. He didn't see an outcast from society, he saw a child of Israel. He didn't see a sinner, he saw a person in the image of the Creator.

Are we able to see others with the eyes of Jesus?

Seeing rightly is the beginning of renewal, forgiveness, healing and grace. Seeing rightly, says Mark Labberton, is the beginning of how our hearts are changed.

With each ...

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The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus

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Overview

Jesus didn't see a sick woman, he saw a daughter of God. He didn't see an outcast from society, he saw a child of Israel. He didn't see a sinner, he saw a person in the image of the Creator.

Are we able to see others with the eyes of Jesus?

Seeing rightly is the beginning of renewal, forgiveness, healing and grace. Seeing rightly, says Mark Labberton, is the beginning of how our hearts are changed.

With each chapter broken into brief segments punctuated by questions, this book is ideal for both personal reflection and group discussion.

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Editorial Reviews

Gary A. Haugen
"Mark Labberton draws us to understand the reality of injustice in our world—a reality that we can all too easily turn into vague abstractions—by beginning first with a raw, honest examination of our own hearts. Mark's manner with his reader is at the same time gracious and incisive, invoking careful consideration of the assumptions and broken perceptions that lead us away from the heart of God—and above all, compelling us to a restored perception of the image of God in every human being. This is a book you will want to spend considerable time ingesting, and as you do so, you are sure to be changed. Let this book lead you to encounter the gospel from a renewed perspective, bringing you into a transformed relationship with the broken world that God has called his people to love with justice."
Doctor - David Zac Niringiye
"Reading Mark Labberton's book . . . has rekindled my faith in the gospel of Jesus—the good news of God, who sees, names and acts truly, in love; a gospel that frees me to act, without deception or pressure to change anyone. The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor has also rekindled my resolveto continue on the path of seeking God, who alone is just and changes the human heart—my heart, which, except for his grace, is prone tomisperceiving, misnaming and misacting! . . .I thank God for Mark Labberton and the gift of this book. I commend it wholeheartedly to all those whose work (as all work should be) is devoted to bringing hope to those on the margins of society and to all who desire tobe true to the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. I commend it to all inthe pastoral vocation, and I commend it to disciples of Jesus who serve inthe realm of politics and the judiciary. It is groundbreaking in its elucidation of how the roots of injustice are embedded in the shaping ofthe human heart through the most ordinary stuff of daily human interaction."
Chris Heuertz
"Mark Labberton's new book, The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor, is an intensely human and courageously confessional reflection on radical loving. His pastoral approach is inviting, drawing the reader into theurgent conversation that thoughtful Christians need as they desperately attempt to reclaim an embodied love in a world that longs to experience it. Provocative, prophetic, pastoral and passionate about living into a reality of love, Mark's book is captivating and compelling."
Reverend; Doctor - Brenda Salter McNeil
"The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor is a book that I've been waiting for! It is a practical and thought-provoking guide that shows us how to cultivate lives of justice, mercy and faith in a world that is in desperate need of compassion and reconciliation. I highly recommend this book to everyone who really wants to make a difference in the world. It is an outstanding sequel to The Dangerous Act of Worship!"
Richard J. Mouw
"For too long we have divorced the quest for 'being spiritual' from a commitment to 'doing justice.' In this powerfully inspiring book, Mark Labberton provides wise insights—and some wonderful stories!—about how to connect inside with outside in the Christian life. A must-read for all who care about faithful discipleship!"
Alan Hirsch
"Here is a book to heal the demonic split between private religion and public action. Eloquent and subversive, intelligent and passionate, these reflections are designed to move you toward a true worship of God that involves loving him in and through every sphere and domain of life."
Sara Groves
"The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor asks important questions, deeper questions we may not have thought to ask yet in our pursuit of justice, and ones that will take a lifetime to answer. We say we want justice, but our self-centric hearts betray us.So how do we override our hearts? This book opened my eyes to the difference between doing something and becoming someone—a person of justice, reoriented to the heart of Jesus."
Dr. David Zac Niringiye
"Reading Mark Labberton's book . . . has rekindled my faith in the gospel of Jesus—the good news of God, who sees, names and acts truly, in love; a gospel that frees me to act, without deception or pressure to change anyone. The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor has also rekindled my resolveto continue on the path of seeking God, who alone is just and changes the human heart—my heart, which, except for his grace, is prone tomisperceiving, misnaming and misacting! . . .I thank God for Mark Labberton and the gift of this book. I commend it wholeheartedly to all those whose work (as all work should be) is devoted to bringing hope to those on the margins of society and to all who desire tobe true to the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. I commend it to all inthe pastoral vocation, and I commend it to disciples of Jesus who serve inthe realm of politics and the judiciary. It is groundbreaking in its elucidation of how the roots of injustice are embedded in the shaping ofthe human heart through the most ordinary stuff of daily human interaction."
Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil
"The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor is a book that I've been waiting for! It is a practical and thought-provoking guide that shows us how to cultivate lives of justice, mercy and faith in a world that is in desperate need of compassion and reconciliation. I highly recommend this book to everyone who really wants to make a difference in the world. It is an outstanding sequel to The Dangerous Act of Worship!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830838400
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Pages: 236
  • Sales rank: 611,452
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Labberton is president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He previously served as Lloyd John Ogilvie chair for preaching and director of the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute for Preaching.

Labberton came to Fuller after sixteen years as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California. He has served as chair of John Stott Ministries (now Langham Partnership) and co-chair of the John Stott Ministries Global Initiative Fund. Today he continues to contribute to the mission of the global church as a senior fellow of International Justice Mission. He is the author of The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor and The Dangerous Act of Worship.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Injustice of the Heart 13

Injustice and the Heart 16

Jesus and the Donkey 18

What This Book Is Not 20

Power, Justice and Injustice 22

Changing the Heart 23

Turning on More Than a Dime 25

On Reading This Book 26

A Work of Fiction? 29

Part 1 Discovering Where We Live

1 Our Address 33

It's All Good (Over Here) 38

It's What It Is (Over There) 41

If You Just Keep Moving 44

2 Paying Attention to Paying Attention 47

The "We" 47

It's Plain as Fact 49

Not a Problem 51

What's Inside Is Outside 54

Sabbath Encouragement 57

Part 2 Seeing

3 The Problem of Misperceiving 61

How Misperception Shapes Self-Perception 64

Injustice Rolls Down 66

4 Learning to See 69

The Broken Image 69

Seeing as We Are Seen 71

Seeing in Ordinary 73

Vision Versus Sight 76

5 Self-Seeing 79

My Own Broken Mirror 79

Beyond the Social Bell Curve 81

The Bible and the Broken Mirror 84

6 The Crux 88

Compassionate Dispassion 88

Salty Memories 90

Matters of Identity 93

Field of Vision 94

Depth Perception 96

The Key to My Neighbor's House 99

Dimness 101

Sabbath Encouragement 104

Part 3 Naming

7 Choosing Names 109

Renaming Dustin 109

Wrong Names 111

The Story of Naming and Misnaming 113

Do We Hear Ourselves? 115

8 A New Name 118

Life in the Name 118

Taxonomy of God's Heart 121

9 Social Naming 125

The Justice and Injustice of Naming 125

Naming and Power 128

A Flair 129

Cool Guy 131

Linguistic Management 133

10 Distorted Names 136

Butter and Cream 136

Disabled Hearts 138

Harami 139

11 Changing Names 142

A Contagion of the Heart 143

Viral 146

President Obama 148

Passive-Aggressive 150

Reality-Creating 152

True Naming 154

Sabbath Encouragement 156

Part 4 Acting

12 Free to Act 161

External Evidence 163

Face to Face 164

For God So Loved the World 167

Helen and Michael 171

God's Contagion of Hope 172

On the Way 175

An Offering of Abundance and Inadequacy 178

13 Suffering 180

Grace upon Grace 180

Turning Point 182

Two Letters 184

The Teacher 186

14 Practicing Dignity 191

The Call to Practice 191

What God Sees, God Gives 193

15 The Act of Worship 196

Toward a New Heart 196

Holy Worship 197

Justice Is in the Name of Jesus 199

Worship as Reperceiving 200

Worship as Renaming 203

Worship as Reacting 206

Moving Day 208

Sabbath Encouragement 211

Conclusion: Just Hope 214

Group Discussion Guide 218

Acknowledgments 235

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