The Command: Learning to Love Like Jesus
How do you write a book about something as complex and vast as the love of God? The simplest way is to focus on Jesus, and Dr Bruce Manners—now retired but long-time editor, writer and pastor—does a brilliant job of this in his new book, The Command. At the heartbeat of Adventism is the life and ministry of Jesus, but it’s so easy to lose our focus. The Command helps us hear that heartbeat again.
Through the use of personal anecdotes, including a number from his own pastoral experiences, the teachings of Jesus take on real-life application in a parabolic kind of way, Dr Manners writes with an ease of tone and a lightness that is compelling. I found that once I started the first chapter it was hard to put this book down, and I found I couldn’t help myself but skip ahead and skim stories from later chapters in the book, such is his engaging style.
Along with personal anecdotes, there are other easy-to-understand illustrations that make real-life application simple, even while challenging us deeply. There were many times I found great content for my own Bible studies or sermons. The thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter makes this an incredibly versatile book, great for family worship, small-group Bible studies or even personal devotions. If you’ve been asked to take worship or lead a group at church, this is a resource you should definitely include in your library.
I especially love the chapter on “Being the Message” as a relevant and timely call to what it means to be a Christian in what is becoming an increasingly hostile environment. Dr Manners isn’t afraid to deal with some of the tougher challenges we face in loving others at the same as maintaining our integrity and understanding of Adventist teaching. These conversations are becoming increasingly important in our ever-changing world and The Command makes a valuable contribution to help us make progress together on “learning to love like Jesus.”
The Command: Learning to Love Like Jesus is available from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand, or online at https://adventistbookcentre.com.au/the-command.html
Lyndelle Peterson is the director of Personal Ministries, Sabbath School and Stewardship at the Australian Union Conference.