Dec. 22 – Melissa Florer-Bixler – How to Have An Enemy [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2021
Advent Calendar
December 22

 

How to Have an Enemy:
Righteous Anger and the Work of Peace

Melissa Florer-Bixler

Paperback: Herald Press, 2021
Buy Now: [ IndieBound ] [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]
 
Ultimately, Florer-Bixler tells us, we’ll see an end of enemies. She connects the work of James Baldwin with an insightful understanding of Revelation to point us to and through the problem. “Vengeance as punishment for the wicked may instead be God turning us over to the old order, the destruction of our own creation. This is where we find death – within the logic of retribution,” she writes (195). Rather than furthering destruction, we can turn to our hope in Jesus and his model for approaching enemies as a way to live out the ideals of the Sermon on the Mount.

Having enemies might be trendy right now, but Florer-Bixler sees the deep-seated roots of enmity growing long before any particular election, pandemic, or petty rivalry. The systems of the world, it turns out, have always been providing the context for destruction. We have a hope in the surprising ways of God, though. Having an enemy (properly) might not be as simple or as natural as letting our bile rise, but it continues to be part of the path toward redemption and reconciliation.

 

WATCH an interview with Melissa Florer-Bixler about this book…


 


 

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