Good and Beautiful and Kind: Becoming Whole in a Fractured World

WaterBrook. Jul. 2022. 240p. ISBN 9780525654414. $24. REL
Villodas, pastor of a large, diverse, and urban Christian parish, offers his sincere consideration of what readers can become if they allow God to work in and through them. After presenting the image of sin as something that curves people in on themselves, he offers an approach that sees sin not as a failure to obey God’s law, but as a failure to love. He discusses how people can “uncurve” themselves by seeking the good, the beautiful, and the kind in an outward-oriented faith that does justice. Using examples from his own life, especially his own failings in regard to his wife and children, as well as his congregation, he demonstrates the need for forgiveness and understanding, and calls for compassion towards ourselves and empathy towards others. The book’s last section examines the need for healthy conflict, for forgiveness, and the work of justice that comes out of sacrificial Christian love.
VERDICT Villodas’s work, which presents the Christian God as one who seeks to forgive, not punish, and calls on disciples to do the same, will appeal to readers who appreciate a down-to-earth Christianity that is not solely focused on itself.
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