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Everyone Belongs to God: Discovering the…
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Everyone Belongs to God: Discovering the Hidden Christ

by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A sample collection of Pastor Blumhardt's letters addressed to his missionary son-in-law. It is a challenging book for those who tend to put distance between themselves as Christians and those who are considered as not. It places focus not on how we as Christians actually practice the love God demands but how God himself actually loves, and that he loves everybody, as demonstrated in Christ: "For God so loved the world..." It is an example that demands emulation.

At the same time, his theology can be a bit difficult to pin down. At times, his comments tend to suggest universalism, that everyone will eventually be saved. or even vaguely implies "ultimate reconciliation," which includes the salvation of the Satan and demons. Even the idea that men can be saved without necessarily knowing Christ is hinted.

At times, his writings sound more like a social gospel, a message against political oppression and social injustice, and the exhortation is to resist and obtain deliverance from worldly powers and structures.

However, not having a full idea of his theological beliefs, these thoughts on Blumhardt's comments are merely conjecture.

Blumhardt's father, Johann Christoph Blumhardt, wherein is the account of his battle with real demonic forces in the book "The Awakening," seems to have had an influence as to the reality of Satan and demons, at least, implied in some places in this collection of his son's letters to his missionary son-in-law; for example, where he writes, "God reveals himself as the one, holy God through the deeds of the Spirit, which no amount of piety or learning can replace" (p.3); and, again, "If we can't see any of God's help in this world, who can guarantee that there will beheld in the next? ...The Bible guarantees to us the deeds of God, here and now, where you and I live" (p.6-7).

These edited letters of Blumhardt show a man very much against organized or institutional religion and the concept of what we today take to be as "Christian." He contends that Christ did not come into the world "to give us a new religion or to help us live a bit more decently" (p.16). He also encourages his son-in-law to "Preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, not that of the church." He tells his son-in-law that the task of the missionary is to "carry to the world...the gospel of Jesus Christ, and not the gospel of the Christians" (p.xviii).

At times, when he speaks of divine grace and the gospel, he almost sound like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Here is a short book of actually only 137 pages, which includes questions at the end for each chapter for further personal or group study. It will challenge not only your theological outlook but your concept of the authentic gospel message and what a genuine Christian life in it's relation to the world ought to be. ( )
  atdCross | Dec 13, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is a compilation of writings by Blumhardt, who lived and died over a century ago. As such, it was kind of a dry read, which is why it took five months for me to write a review on it...

While my beliefs basically line up with Blumhardt's, I don't consider myself super-religious and probably wouldn't reread this. My copy will be re-homed to a family member who will probably be more than happy to read it again and again. ( )
  girlwonder87 | Oct 8, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book of collected letters by Blumhardt forms an inspiring read. It is a constant reminder that justs because one thinks of themselves as Christian they are no better than the next person. God is bigger than denominations, sects and other divisions of man. God is so big that everyone belongs to him and for whom he sent His Son into the world.

Written nearly a century ago, the message of this book is timeless and should be read by everyone who thinks that they have a mission of talking or working with others for God.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern" ( )
  whoizme8 | Sep 9, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The value of this book probably depends mostly on who you are and what your level of acquaintance with mission thinking is. If it's entirely new to you, or you have a very ethnocentric mentality (probably not even realizing it), then this book will help you work you way out of that. Blumhardt recognizes the full humanity, dignity, and agency of the "objects" of foreign mission and argues for them. On the other hand, if you are already familiar with the field, it all seems a bit simplistic and a lot of big issues loom that he doesn't acknowledge or deal with. In all fairness, he was writing early in the period of European reflection on these topics, so there is only so far his vision could go. All things considered, though, if I were introducing friends to mission thought, this is not the first book I'd turn to.
  SarahEHWilson | Aug 3, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am having a hard time reviewing this book. I think that there are very many positives to take from this book. However, there are some things, that without context, I am not sure if I can agree with them. Not knowing what was going on, or the motivation behind some of the letters, makes it very hard for me to like or dislike much of the book. I appreciate the overall heart and compassion of the letters. I am just not sure, from what I have, if I can agree with the theology and methods in this book.
  hoosiers80 | Jul 20, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0874866464, Paperback)

How can Christians represent the love of Christ to their neighbors (let alone people in foreign countries) in an age when Christianity has earned a bad name from centuries of intolerance and cultural imperialism? Is it enough to love and serve them? Can you win their trust without becoming one of them? Can you be a missional Christian without a church? This provocative book, based on a recently uncovered collection of 100-year-old letters from a famous pastor to his nephew, a missionary in China, will upend pretty much everyone’s assumptions about what it means to give witness to Christ. Blumhardt challenges us to find something of God in every person, to befriend people and lead them to faith without expecting them to become like us, and to discover where Christ is already at work in the world. This is truly good news: No one on the planet is outside the love of God. At a time when Christian mission has too often been reduced to social work or proselytism, this book invites us to reclaim the heart of Jesus’ great commission, quietly but confidently incarnating the love of Christ and trusting him to do the rest.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:16:24 -0400)

How can Christians represent the love of Christ to their neighbors (let alone people in foreign countries) in an age when Christianity has earned a bad name from centuries of intolerance and cultural imperialism? Is it enough to love and serve them? Can you win their trust without becoming one of them? Can you be a missional Christian without a church? This provocative book, based on a recently uncovered collection of 100-year-old letters from a famous pastor to his nephew, a missionary in China, will upend pretty much everyone's assumptions about what it means to give witness to Christ. Blumhardt challenges us to find something of God in every person, to befriend people and lead them to faith without expecting them to become like us, and to discover where Christ is already at work in the world. This is truly good news: No one on the planet is outside the love of God. At a time when Christian mission has too often been reduced to social work or proselytism, this book invites us to reclaim the heart of Jesus' great commission, quietly but confidently incarnating the love of Christ and trusting him to do the rest.… (more)

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