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Book Review – Not Like Me

August 8, 2013

Recently while working a customer came looking for a particular book titled, Not Like Me[1], by Eric Michael Bryant. When we did not have it in stock he explained he was coming to purchase copies for others and recommended it to me. He was very passionate about it so I decided to give it a try. I was pleased with taking the time to read the book.

Not Like Me was formerly written under the title Peppermint-Filled Piñatas. The current title, published in 2010, has some added and updated material. In this manifestation, Bryant takes the reader through the idea of being the church in your own neighborhood without announcing to the world that is what you are doing.

The book is divided into two distinctive parts. The first part addresses the fact that people are more important than issues. Bryant spends four chapters discussing this and each chapter is filled with wonderful and sometimes humorous illustrations. This could be referred to as the people first, opinions second section. Bryant repeatedly shows his love for his neighbors while trying to convince his reader to do the same in these chapters.

The goal, to get to know your neighbors and build relationships with them, is just that simple. He shows how his family went through many changes and moved into different cultural situations yet adapted to their new environment. They became the “good” neighbor regardless of how they were treated by their neighbors. They even took baked goods to the neighbors to introduce themselves.

The second section is discussing how to love others instead of fighting over everything. Here Bryant teaches his readers how to look past divisive issues. He shows the church how to overlook stereotypes, or more importantly, how to look beyond the stereotype and see the person behind it. He talks about building relationships with those of other faiths and how to deal with others in this sex-crazed world.

Bryant shows just how effective you can be when you approach your people without a preconceived goal. Many Christians go to meet the neighbors, coworkers, or unchurched friends with the goal to get them into church so they can get saved. In this book, you find amazing effectiveness when he goes to his neighbors without objective except to develop friendships. You will learn how to approach people with a singular goal – to love them as Christ lived you.

I am glad I bought this book on the recommendation of a perfect stranger. I am recommending every person who reads this will purchase this book and take the time to read it. You can find it on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Not-Like-Me-Influencing-Diverse/dp/0310329965/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375567762&sr=8-1&keywords=not+like+me). You can also visit his blog at http://www.ericbryant.org/ to keep up with his latest musings.


[1] Eric Michael Bryant. Not Like Me. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010).

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