Written by Jonathan Lamb
Reviewed by Mike Allnutt
As we gradually emerge from lock down and all the rigours of the present pandemic into the new normal as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we are having to establish afresh the ties that bind us together; and that may well prove tricky as isolation has allowed some divergence to occur. So, to dip into Jonathan Lamb’s book, Essentially One, may be really helpful as he explores the biblical basis for our fellowship in the Gospel.
I liked the fact that each of the sixteen chapters is clearly based on a different passage of scripture and opens it up to remind the reader of the dynamic and challenging relevance of God’s Word. Some of the chapters deal with the more difficult episodes that bear on our unity and how to disagree in love. For example, Managing Conflict – Ch 8 – looks into the dispute between Paul and Peter and how they handled things.
There is inevitably some overlap of ideas, but the whole thrust of the book gives a strong grasp of the main and vital issues involved in getting along with our fellow Christians, both within our own church and between groups. Difference has to be allowed for, but the centrality of the Lord Jesus, His death and resurrection, and all that flows from Him cannot be tampered with or circumvented.
It was interesting to use this book as the basis of a group discussion – there are some questions and hints to be found at the end of each chapter – with the constant encouragement to seek out what the scripture teaches on relationships.