TITLE INFORMATION RESTORING THE SHATTERED Illustrating Christ’s Love Through the Church in One Accord Nancy E. Head Morgan James Faith (238 pp.) $15.99 paperback, $9.99 e-book ISBN: 978-1-64279-049-8; January 22, 2019
Head, a part-time English lecturer at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, assesses the denominational fissures within Christianity and the possibility of future unity in this debut treatise. The author experienced the sectarianism of Christianity firsthand when she was a young girl: Her father was a Catholic and she attended Catholic school, but her mother was a Methodist and took her to her own church.
In this book, Head asserts that the doctrinal separation between Protestants and Catholics need not translate into mutual contempt, as both are bound by profound spiritual commitments. She goes on to furnish a far-reaching discussion of the differences between the two sides, emphasizing the tension between Catholics and evangelicals.
Along the way, she provides admirably clear accounts of doctrinal debates regarding such issues as abortion, homelessness, divorce, and poverty. In the case of the latter two issues, she draws deeply from personal experience; after Head and her husband divorced, she says, she had to raise five kids as a single mother and fell into dire financial straits.
The overarching metaphor of the entire study is an image of shattered glass, which can symbolically represent either disrepair or kaleidoscopic diversity. Head also supplies remarkably balanced histories of various religious culture wars in America and of the split between liberal Christianity and conservative evangelical thought. Ultimately, she counsels a meaningful détente between Christianity’s various subdivisions that doesn’t involve surrendering core principles—cooperation without compromise.
At the heart of the book is a genuine spirit of reconciliation: “In every encounter with those who disagree with us, we are always to act in love, accepting and respecting the sacred humanity of every person. But we are not to crumble under the pressure to endorse actions we cannot deem morally justified.”
A thoughtful introduction to complex cultural and theological issues in the Christian faith.
22 Replies to “Kirkus Reviews Restoring the Shattered”
Such a beautiful and powerful review on your book, Nancy. I like the thought of acting in love and respect even with those who disagree with us while not giving hearty approval to behavior we cannot support. (Romans 1:32)
Thank you, Karen. It’s a challenge, but God calls us to it. God bless!
I downloaded your book a while ago but haven’t had the chance to read it yet. After this review, I will open it today. Thank you for your ministry of reconciliation!
Thank you, Candice! God bless!
Nancy, what an excellent review! Congratulations! I appreciate the thoughtfulness and compassion with which you approached this difficult topic. It is amazing how God used so many parts of your life to provide clarity and understanding that is much needed. May we demonstrate to a watching world how we can disagree in mutual love and respect, while at the same time, as you say “not to crumble under the pressure to endorse actions we cannot deem morally justified”. God bless you!
Amen, Melissa. May we indeed disagree in mutual love. God bless!
What an impressive review, Nancy! Your book sounds like a much needed read in today’s culture wars with Christian denominations splitting even further from one another, just as our culture divides even more sharply along liberal and conservative lines.
“Admirably clear account of doctrinal debates” shows that your book provides a much needed resource in these times when we attempt to pick apart what causes these fissures.” I love this summary: “In every encounter with those who disagree with us, we are always to act in love, accepting and respecting the sacred humanity of every person. But we are not to crumble under the pressure to endorse actions we cannot deem morally justified.” So true!
Well done, sister! Your diversity of religious experience as a youngster and your life experiences as an adult have made you into a great asset to the church and to the wider public for times such as these. God bless you!
Thanks so much, Melinda! And God bless you too!
Congratulations to you Nancy for this wonderful review of your book. I love the summary, we are called to love.
Thank you, Yvonne. God bless!
What a great review!
Thanks, Melissa! God bless!
What a wonderful review! I didn’t realize that about your upbringing, but I imagine it gave you a strong perspective from which to write this book. It looks like an excellent and timely read.
Thank you, Jessica. God shapes us in the most intricate ways–and He wastes no detail. God bless!
A great review. Definitely worth reading!
Thanks, Ava. God bless!
This is wonderful! I love the image that broken glass can either be something that has been broken and destroyed, or a new, different way of looking at life. What a great analogy!
There can be great spiritual insight found in the study of glass, stained glass, and quotes regarding glass. Thanks, Emily. God bless!
I love your closing quote, “In every encounter with those who disagree with us, we are always to act in love, accepting and respecting the sacred humanity of every person. But we are not to crumble under the pressure to endorse actions we cannot deem morally justified.”
I wholeheartedly agree. I’m reading Counter-Culture by David Platt and his insight is similar.
We need to address these issues with respect and love but doing so does not mean we comprise the truth of God’s word. To do so is unloving and uncaring of the individual at hand. It’s a tension for sure, but God is who we please and give glory first and foremost, but we have to remember that He loves the very people caught in the dilemmas of this kind.
He loves them. We are to love them. And just as we don’t stand still in our thinking, they don’t either. The one who argues against my views today may be my brother or sister tomorrow. Thanks, Marcie! God bless!
Thanks for sharing a review of this book! I will have to check it out!
Thanks, Julie! God bless!