Book Review: A Fellowship of Differents

41-JdeuWWVLThe opening chapter of this book stopped me in my tracks. In A Fellowship of Differents, author Scot McKnight posits that our local church determines the direction of our discipleship.  Put plainly, he’s saying that the type of church we grow up in –what that church focuses on, what it dismisses (because no church focuses on everything equally) — shapes us in ways we don’t often talk about.

McKnight breaks down the history of how churches have understood the Christian life into six themes:

1. A prayer-filled life

2. A holy and virtuous life

3. A Spirit-empowered life

4. A life that pursues justice and compassion for others

5. A Bible-centered life

6. A sacramental life.

As I thought about these, I recognized how the church where my faith was formed “majored” in some of these, “minored” in one or two others, and ignored the rest.  This, as McKnight acknowledges, has benefits and drawbacks. He spends the rest of the book suggesting ways we can all find balance, celebrating the strengths of our early experience and filling in the gaps we notice as we grow and mature.

I appreciate that McKnight went far beyond the usual conversation about church diversity and offers every reader a chance to “individualize” their experience of this book and draw from its wisdom. Good stuff.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.