04 Oct Love Anyway: An Invitation Beyond a World that’s Scary as Hell | Jeremy Courtney
2019: Book #31
The stories will rip your heart out.
Yet, as the book progresses, you can actually feel his belief system begin to deconstruct. I found myself inwardly screaming, “Save them! Save them!” But then I’d snap back and have to consider how this plays out in a policy format.
The book is Love Anyway: An Invitation Beyond a World that’s Scary as Hell by Jeremy Courtney. Courtney is the founder of the non-profit Preemptive Love Coalition. Courtney, his wife, kids and staff serve in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and other hot spots throughout the world. They help war-torn children get surgeries as well as help families in these regions build new ways of life with a stable income.
Courtney went to these places to tell people about Jesus. He confesses that it was hard…very hard. He also says that it was difficult to build relationships, so they turned to fill real needs: surgeries, economic help, and so on.
When he was confronted about this by his sponsoring church, he said, “…I’m saying none of us are living like Jesus, no matter what our religion is. So rather than worry which team we’re a part of, why don’t we focus on changing the way we live?”
That one phrase just breaks my heart.
“Rather than worry which team we’re a part of…”
In other words, he wasn’t going to evangelize but just try to meet and fill real needs.
Meeting needs is so critical…but the Gospel is even more so.
In a chapter called, “Ex Cathedra” he’s open and real about his struggle with Jesus. The faint of heart should not read that chapter. He’s real, raw, and honest.
The book is 286 pages. On page 284 he writes, “Whether you want me or not, I am one of you. I share your beliefs. I share your doubts. I share your fears. I share your hopes. I share your dreams. Maybe not all, but enough. Enough to know I have something to learn from you. Enough to let my life speak for itself. Enough to accept that you still might not accept me. And enough to love you anyway.”
I understand what he is saying. He’s still a Christian…still clinging to Jesus, just not like the majority of evangelicals.
I respect Courtney’s work and his willingness to risk it all to help others. However, it’s an uncomfortable book. I don’t negate the mission to help others. We should all do more…we’re commanded to do so by Jesus. Yet, as believers, we can’t divorce helping others from the Gospel and the world’s need of Jesus.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
That’s book #31 for 2019.
21 more to go
Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.