Friday, 6 January 2012
Alien Love by Kevin Abell
I might as well begin by saying that I was afraid to read Alien Love. Don't get me wrong. I wanted to read it, but I was afraid of what it would do to me. Love isn't always my favourite subject of discussion. It's the area in which I lack the most as a Christian. I often avoid messages specifically on love because they never make me feel good about myself. I also don't like it when other Christians make love sound easy. Kevin doesn't. In short, I likely wouldn't have read this book if Kevin hadn't written it.
To describe what this book is about in one line, I think I would have to say this: it's an overview of what love is and how it's demonstrated, a hard look at our sinful nature, and an explanation of the Gospel and the Christian life. Kevin explains what love is and examines the attributes of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. He describes the seriousness of sin, how it's all equal, how we're all equally guilty and can only compare ourselves to God's holy standard. He then goes on to lay down a clear explanation of the Gospel and the Christian life in a way that anyone can understand.
There were numerous things I particularly enjoyed about Kevin's book, of which I will share a few. First of all, it's simple; he doesn't get complicated or stuff his writing full of deep theology. He starts his chapters off with stories, often from his own life which kept me engaged throughout the book and often amused. He illustrated the attributes of love in a way that gave me a fresh perspective. He explained that if we really understand God's creation and love for mankind, it will dramatically change the way we treat those around us. Kevin also isn't afraid to speak truth, talk about sin for what it is, nor does he shy away from often messy topics. This is much needed in our time. Throughout the book, he keeps coming back to the Gospel and effectively points his readers toward Christ.
Having said all that, reading Alien Love will NOT make you feel good about yourself if you read it with an honest, open heart. It made me quite uncomfortable at times and I didn't always like everything he had to say. But it was truth straight from God's Word, and it didn't change just because my flesh didn't like it. Reading this book made me see once again how miserably I fall short. It exposed my sin, my lack of concern for the lost, and showed me how much still needs to change in my life. If this book doesn't leave you examining your life, I'd have to say you missed the whole point.
Has this book changed my life? Not yet. But I do believe that if I apply the principles in this book to my life, it will change me. I have no doubt about that. As a reader, I must move past the intellectual understanding and actually live it. It's not easily done, but I know it will be worth it.
Kevin has a sincere desire for people to come to Christ and it reflects in Alien Love. He doesn't write like someone who has it altogether, but is real and honest. Although I haven't read The Edge of His Cloak in two years, I'd have to say his writing has improved much since then. Alien Love is a book I would highly recommend to all my readers.
Kevin writes an excellent blog at Blue Collar Christianity, which you can check out as well. He is also having a book launch later this month. For readers that live in the area who would like to hear Kevin speak and get your copy of Alien Love (available in paperback and hardcover), it will be held at the Aylmer Old Town Hall on January 28 at 6:30pm. Please come out and show your support.