How Should We Develop Biblical Friendship?
by Joel R. Beeke and Michael A.G. Haykin
Reformation Heritage Books, 2015
Contemporary life is crowded, and we probably do not consider friendship as seriously as we ought or value it as highly as it deserves. It was important enough for men such as Plato and Aristotle to address it in depth, and it was treasured by giants in the church also – perhaps most famously, Augustine. And you just may be surprised to find how much the Bible has to say about it.
In their new How Should We Develop Biblical Friendship? Joel Beeke and Michael Haykin team up and guide us through both Scripture and the history of the church in order to steer us to more meaningful, God-honoring, and rewarding friendships. Holding the apostle Paul as a model and providing further samplings from the likes of Gregory of Nazianzus, John Calvin, Andrew Fuller, Samuel Pearce, Esther Edwards Burr, and C.S. Lewis they illustrate for us well what a Christian friendship can look like. Then, drawing from all this, the authors provide ten “Practical Steps Toward Deepening Friendship.”
So why is friendship important? This rapid survey of Scripture and church history reveals that it is a vital way that God works in the lives of His children to help them grow in grace and stay true to Christ. In this world, which is no friend to grace, God has designed the Christian life to be “a life together” in which believing friends aid one another and bear one another’s burdens and pray for one another and encourage one another. May God give us such friendships — those that are deep, transparent, and affirming, and in which we serve as guardians of each other’s souls (pp. 44-45).
This is a subject great with potential yet one which contemporary Christian authors seldom address. This little book is a wonderful place to start – the teaching is clear and concise, the models are compelling, and the counsel is practical. You can read it easily in one sitting, yet it is very suitable for Sunday school and small group use also. Highly recommended.
Fred Zaspel; August 4, 2015