#38 – Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf (My 100 Favorite Books)

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After a week of writing about some novels, maybe I should christen this as “theology Fridays”?  This book makes my list, though its been ten years since I read it.  I had to go back on Goodreads to see what I said about it, and was actually surprised to see a review on there since I thought I may have read it prior to joining Goodreads (and I’ve been on Goodreads for a long time!).  Volf’s book is about how we exclude others, those who are different from us, and the remedy for this is to embrace.  Embracing the other is put forth by Volf as the way to deal with difference and enemies.  We seek to see the world from the view of the other person, not just assuming our own view.  We reach out in self-giving love.  For Volf, as a Christian, this is all rooted in the life and work of Jesus.

Volf also gives one of the best discussions of God and violence I can recall.  Because some people refuse to love (embrace) God, God cannot force them into embrace, for this would be violence.  For Volf, a loving God must look evil in the eye and remove it from creation.  How could a good God judge?  How could a good God NOT judge, asks Volf?

Volf has become one of my favorite authors; I think I’ve read 3 or 4 more of his books.  But this one remains my favoriate, and after almost ten years, may deserve a reread.

Published by davehershey

My life is quite simple really. I love my wife Emily and my kids, Junia and Elijah. I serve in campus ministry at Penn State Berks. I enjoy life.

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