“Blest be the tie that binds . . .”
Whether or not the words of this hymn are familiar to you, the notion behind them—and this book—is one of connectedness and community.
Twenty years after his best-selling And Are We Yet Alive? Richard Wilke observes that at the same time the formal, organized church has faced monumental change, spiritual inquiry has been sweeping the country. He has found in the words of another hymn powerful antidotes for the isolation and loneliness that are so prevalent in our contemporary society.
Wilke explores where the church has become disconnected and how it can connect once again:
- In a spiritually confused and hungry world, how to connect with the Lord, how to connect with a revitalized church.
- In a mobile, fragmented, and isolated population, how to connect with a community of faithful friends.
- In a cynical, suspicious society, how to find a spot to stand, a place to trust.
- In denominations populated by increasingly isolated congregations, how to communicate.
- In a world of deadly disease, famine, and poverty, how to link arms as Christians to work together in caring ministries.
Grounding his discussion in biblical background and Wesleyan roots, Wilke attempts to rouse the church to follow the command of Jesus to “Go . . . and make disciples.” The issue, he says, is not merely religion; it is salvation. The task is no less than drawing people of all ages, nationalities, backgrounds, and philosophical persuasions to the One who said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” And the method is to connect—with one another in the church, with children and youth, with the unchurched, with the Savior.
“Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love.”