Chapter 4: Affection for Monsters
This morning, I wrote a first draft of my overall book review for Love Over Fear, by Dan White, Jr.Part of that review lists key reasons why this book is a valuable, practical resource for us to be better both/and bridge-builders in an either/or era of polarization.
One thing I’m finding I especially appreciate is that Dan doesn’t send us into a realm without nuances, where all differences are now acceptable and anything goes. There are still issues of right and wrong, good and evil. This seems particularly important to keep in mind while reading Chapter 4, “Affection for Monsters,” which makes the case that Jesus Christ’s command to love our enemies does not contain any loopholes.
Underneath any and all differences we have as people, we share in common the reality of being made in the image of God. There is something worthy of acknowledgment and respect in that, even if there are behaviors that show that image has been broken.
Here are some quotes from Chapter 4 that I found most thought provoking. Some relate to that seemingly impossible command to love our enemies (thank the Lord for the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to make that possible!). Others give us some indicators for how we can know whether we’re making progress. The chapter itself offers some in-depth examples from Dan and others showing how to love enemies through listening, through presence, through dialogue.
[“Siloing” is] the tendency to interact mostly with like-minded people … We know we are siloing when we are unable to relax and relate with people who don’t share our convictions. (page 111)
These silos we live in create a void, and the void is violent on the growth of love in a Jesus follower. Attack ads, adhominem arguments, and excessive claims about each other’s impact on America’s future have become staple elements of beating back our enemies. The void is fortified by this type of hostile rhetoric about “them,” “they,” “it.” And yet, our fundamental identity is those created and beloved by God—this is the more accurate label Jesus places on us. The mystery seems to be that my enemy shares the same glory that I share in—we are both made in the glorious image of God. (page 112; emphasis added)