The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbour
Mark Labberton, IVP
Mark Labberton argues that seeing rightly is the beginning of renewal, forgiveness, healing and grace. Seeing rightly is the beginning of how our hearts are changed. In The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbour, Mark seeks to provide a thought provoking guide to the reality of injustice in the world, and to show that how we see ourselves and our world, and how we name what we see is vital to how we act.
In many ways, The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbour says nothing particularly new. However, the manner in which Labberton introduces and makes his argument is refreshing. Labberton begins by examining how we understand and see ourselves; here and there, I and you, us and them. From this he moves on to outline how important seeing and naming are to our action.
The book is divided up into short and easily readable chapters with plenty of real life situations and examples to guide the way. The book does not read as an academic argument, but as a practical guide and it is structured with periodic reflections and questions that enable it to be used as a guide for self-reflection or as a group study book.
Labberton reflects with stories from the first and third worlds, from Western, African and Eastern cultures. His aim is to reawaken readers to realise that the call of God to action is not just “over there” or in some other place, but that in God’s eyes there is no here or there, them or us. We are all in this together and Jesus is there with us.
This is a good book, and would make a great bible study or discussion group text; for while most of what it says is simple, straightforward and common sense; it is also a topic that is rarely addressed and which we have often trained ourselves not to see. The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbour is a good book with an important message to a divided world ¾ and a divided Australian society. Well worth a read.