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Peace Catalysts: Resolving Conflict in Our Families, Organizations and Communities

by Rick Love

InterVarsity Press 

Reviewed by Marv Newell, senior vice president, Missio Nexus 

Conflict happens—in the home, at the workplace, in mission offices, on teams, and even across international borders. However, in the midst of broken relationships, conflict resolution is possible. Rick Love, founder and president of Peace Catalyst International, shows God’s intention for believers and for the world to live at peace with one another, and that Christian peacemakers have the opportunity to be true ambassadors of reconciliation. 

In this book, Love shares the principles that have guided his peacemaking efforts around the world through Peace Catalyst International. Masterfully blending scripture with personal experience, he provides a biblical framework for how the God of peace seeks restoration for all who experience conflict. But be assured as you read this book that much can be applied on the personal and organizational levels. 

Love posits that the God of Peace, the peace of God, the gospel of peace, and the blessing on peacemakers are the four foundation stones for peacemaking. Upon this foundation he then sets his eight pillars of peacemaking: pray for peace, pursue peace with all, take responsibility, lovingly reprove, accept reproof, ask for forgiveness, forgive others, and love your enemies. Well illustrated and clearly described, those engaged in peacemaking can easily follow the principles that Love advocates. He also makes clear distinctions between “peace breakers,” “peace keepers,” “peace fakers,” and “peace makers.” Much more is included before he closes the book with the “Six Spheres of Peacemaking.”

There are a couple of troubling statements by Love that need to be called into question. In his peacemaking efforts with Muslims, one wonders if his efforts, as his participation in the controversial 2008 Common Word Conference and resultant document, may have gone too far. Also, he makes it a point to state that he no longer sees himself as a “traditional Evangelical,” but quickly qualifies that with, “I still want to live and share the good news. God commands me to both love my neighbor and share my faith. For me this means that the Great Commandment governs the Great Commission.” But these questionable stances and statements need not taint the strong value of this book. 

Peace Catalysts is permeated with strong biblical references that undergird the art of peacemaking. Principles that Love brings out can be applied on any level of human relationship. It can be recommended for any who are engaged in or will begin to be engaged in a mediating/peacemaking situation.

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EMQ, Vol. 51, No. 2 pp. 235-236. Copyright  © 2015 Billy Graham Center for Evangelism.  All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMQ editors.

 

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