My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Trust is the foundation on which relationships are built. But we are not very good at it. Institutions and individuals have betrayed us. We have betrayed trust given to and received from others. We live in an environment permeated by fear. How can relationships possibly exist in such a climate?
Greg Fromholz examines the issue of trust and how to build it in Broken: Restoring Trust Between the Sacred & the Secular. He uses personal stories, Bible stories and passages, and research data to suggest ways in which we as individuals, groups, and churches can return to a trusting environment. The writing is engaging, and humor is frequently used to release tension in an otherwise heavy topic.
There are sixteen chapters across 222 pages (excluding endnotes). Each chapter discusses an aspect of trust - what hinders trust and what can help build it. Among the issues discussed are: forgiveness, fear, faithfulness, love, peace, and hope.
Gromholz issues a stinging indictment against the modern church and how it has communicated a separation between faith and trust, and how faith (the believing, intellectual kind) has become the most important thing in many churches. He that because faith has become so predominant, it has diminished and has even hidden love in the life of the church, communicating to any who participate and observe that love isn't that important to God. His indictment extends to the structures and systems that the church has placed around herself, to protect and to control; that such systems have replaced love in churches and in church life. The implicit message: where systems, structures, and control are important, trust is not. Organizations, small and large, seek to conserve and maintain -- by their very nature, they fear freedom. But without freedom, there can be no trust.
God allows great freedom to untrustworthy humans. God does not impose his will, but seeks to collaborate with humanity. As the bride of Christ, the church (and her individual members) should take a look at how God relates to us and seek to model our interactions with the world around us in the same way. This, I believe, is the message that Fromholz is communicating to his audience through this book.
View all my reviews