Face to Face

Face to Face

Meditations on Friendship and Hospitality

by Steve Wilkins
Publisher: Canon Press
2nd Edition, ©2010, Publisher Catalog #T108
Trade Paperback, 147 pages
Price: $14.00

Today, more and more of us are growing up in abnormal families and hostile environments, and, consequently, we don't understand the basics of friendship or hospitality. Many moderns, even Christians, try to deny the importance of these virtues by sinking deeper into their selfishness, only to complain of greater loneliness.

The heart of Christian reality is a society—a Trinity—of persons living with and for one another. God created us to live in bonds of society and friendship, not as lone rangers. The Christian faith presents friendship and hospitality not as luxuries but necessities. God does not save us in isolation but in community with other people. There is no possibility of living to the glory of God apart from godly companions.

In this book, Steve Wilkins seeks to call us back to the joyous obligations of friendship and hospitality. He spells out the biblical virtues that nurture both, as well as the stumbling blocks that will hinder us.

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Summary: The heart of Christianity is community, not individualism, and Wilkins calls us unapologetically to embrace friendship and hospitality.

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  A Beginning, Basic Look
Mystie Winckler of WA, 10/11/2011
Wilkins divides this book into two parts: Part one is about the necessity of friendship, and part two is about the necessity of hospitality.

On friendship, Wilkins maintains that having one or two close friends is vital, not optional, not simply a nice thing if it works out. We are created finite, dependent, and social. Friendship is something to pray about, seek out, and invest in, not only for our children, but for ourselves as well. Friendships do not happen incidentally, they require an investment of time and of oneself — and it is worth it. Wilkins also develops that while we are to be friendly with everyone (loving our neighbor), we cannot be intimate friends with more than one or two people because of the time and investment involved. And, from a pastor’s vantage, he also gives a hard word about being friendly oneself rather than complaining about cliques and the unfriendliness of others.

On hospitality, Wilkins fleshes out Strauch’s Hospitality Commands a bit more, particularly the aspect that hospitality is always connected with showing love to the saints in the New Testament. He develops a bit more what hospitality is, what the benefits are, and finishes up with a chapter of practical tips for beginning to show hospitality.