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A Loving Life

In a World of Broken Relationships

Author Paul E. Miller
Narrator Arthur Morey
Runtime 6 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP M4B MP3
Release Date January 31, 2014
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)

Having successfully helped readers develop a solid prayer life with the best-selling release of A Praying Life, author Paul Miller applies his expertise to tackle an even more important issue—love. After all, love is what holds all things together, it’s what we’re looking for, it’s what we all need, and it’s what we must learn how to give. But loving people is hard. Our neighbors, friends, kids, spouses, and even our enemies require a relentless, self-giving demonstration of love that only God can produce within us. Taking his cues from the perseverance and faithfulness portrayed in the book of Ruth, Miller sheds light on a biblical portrait of love that is sure to give us hope and transform our souls. Here is the help we need to embrace relationship, endure rejection, cultivate community, and reach out to even the most unlovable as we discover the power to live a loving life.

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Description

Having successfully helped readers develop a solid prayer life with the best-selling release of A Praying Life, author Paul Miller applies his expertise to tackle an even more important issue—love. After all, love is what holds all things together, it’s what we’re looking for, it’s what we all need, and it’s what we must learn how to give. But loving people is hard. Our neighbors, friends, kids, spouses, and even our enemies require a relentless, self-giving demonstration of love that only God can produce within us. Taking his cues from the perseverance and faithfulness portrayed in the book of Ruth, Miller sheds light on a biblical portrait of love that is sure to give us hope and transform our souls. Here is the help we need to embrace relationship, endure rejection, cultivate community, and reach out to even the most unlovable as we discover the power to live a loving life.

Customer Reviews

8 Reviews Add Review
Raw and insightful
It’s obvious that contemporary culture and the Bible disagree on many concepts. But is there one they disagree on more sharply than that of “true love?” Often reduced to an emotional response, a physical attraction, or even a chemical reaction, love is a convoluted concept for sure. Add to love the descriptor of “lifelong love” or “committed love” and the chasm between culture and the Word of God only gets wider.

In A Loving Life, author Paul Miller focuses on the Old Testament book of Ruth, drawing out the deep lessons on love illustrated by the narrative. His central concept is that of hesed; the rough Hebrew equivalent of the Greek agape. Often translated as “steadfast,” hesed love is undying, sacrificial, faithful love. The characters of the book of Ruth demonstrate a love that is foreign to our culture, our families, and even many of our churches. I found myself caught up in the story and captivated by how the rich love of God redeems and resurrects a broken life.

Miller strikes an amazing balance. On the one hand, he unpacks the cultural, symbolic, and literary context of the book of Ruth with a deftness that makes it come alive with meaning. I particularly loved his focus on the significance of people and place names. While I believe, as does Miller, that the book of Ruth is historical fact, there is so much richness in even in its narrative structure. I was reminded that scripture is, among other things, simply great literature.

On the other hand, Miller relates the raw brokenness of Naomi, the steadfastness of Ruth, and the redeeming love of Boaz to modern equivalents. A broken marriage, a man committed to his wife who is suffering from mental illness, an employee staying committed to a manager who mistreats him, and other stories serve as poignant illustrations. These stories are emotional on a deep level, and Miller ties them seamlessly to the episodes of the book of Ruth.

And so Miller strikes a superb balance between sure-handed exegesis and gut-level, real-life application. Not an easy balance.

Arthur Morey handles the narration of the audiobook version well, capturing nuances of tone and emotion.

I highly recommend this book for those who want to study the book of Ruth, and for those who are struggling to love with a real, steadfast love. May this book help you awaken to the beauty of God’s Word and the awe-inspiring nature of His undying love.

Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audiobooks at christianaudio.com.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 8/13/2014)
Poignant, powerful, and deeply personal: a counsellor unpacks Ruth's story of love
Overview:
Like he did with "A Praying Life," Paul Miller once again has given us a book that doesn’t fit the mold. This is not just any old book on Christian love. This book turns love inside out and gives hope and help to readers at all stages of their Christian life. "A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships" describes the perils and pitfalls, as well as the promise and pleasure of love.

Miller begins with a personal story from a man he has counseled. The man was a former elder at a conservative evangelical church who walked away from his wife and dove headlong into immorality. Stories like this, and the counseling insights Miller shares illuminate this book. Miller’s insights into love and the human heart, stem from Scripture and ring true. His application is always poignant and helpful. ANd the stories of real one-on-one ministry flesh out the theory of his approach with real tangible spiritual fruit in the here and now.

But Miller’s book is not about his own experiences. He anchors it all on a careful exegetical look at the book of Ruth. Ruth’s story, of course, may very well be the greatest love story ever told. And it has much to teach us about what it means to love unconditionally, and to live in Christian hope. Miller’s account is shaped and ruled by the gospel, and he brings us back over and over again to the importance of gospel-centered living.

Evaluation:
Having been incredibly blessed by Miller’s previous book, "A Praying Life," the format of "A Loving Life" took me by some surprise. But as the book developed, I found myself enjoying the account of Ruth more and more, and seeing how it truly dovetailed with Miller’s thoughts on love and his counsel for dealing with broken relationships and living out our faith in this broken world. This book may be a slower and harder read than the earlier volume, but it repays any effort spent to mine its riches. Miller’s wisdom and insight into the struggles of human suffering shine through its pages. His personal experience of ministry (including to his own autistic daughter) give a depth to his thoughts. You feel like you are sitting down over a cup of coffee with an incredibly open and helpful friend as you read this book. And this friend repeatedly points you to a greater walk with Christ and a deeper understanding of yourself and the glory of the gospel.

I listened to the Christianaudio.com version of this title, and found it a blessing to tune into Ruth’s exciting story on my drive each day to work and back. The reader of the audiobook was easy to understand and hear, and his voice was warm and encouraging. I didn’t miss endnotes (if there were any) and it was easy to follow along even though the book was broken up into smaller pieces than it may have been if reading the book in another format.

Recommendation:
If you haven’t read anything by Paul Miller before, I encourage you to give this title a try. His approach is similar in spirit to what you may get from Timothy Keller or some of the authors connected with the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF). This is biblical counseling at its gospel-centered best. I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer:
This book was provided by christianaudio.com. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a positive review.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 6/13/2014)
Insight Into Ruth and Naomi
A Loving Life by Paul E. Miller is a book focusing on the story of Ruth and examining how her love changed her situation and saved her mother-in-law as well. It examines the great love that Ruth had for her mother-in-law, that even though she had nothing in Israel and would be an outsider as well as a widow, she was willing to commit to Naomi, a true act of selfless love.

One of the more interesting chapters was on lamenting and its place in the grieving process in Biblical times. It seems to contrast very differently to today's culture where any sadness or grieving is quickly stopped by drugs or therapy.

I found this book quite insightful into the story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, especially in terms of the historical and cultural aspects. The principles about starting a loving life where quite good but probably not as well developed as I was expecting.

The narrator was quite good as the speed was quite easy to follow along with and the tone matched the loving content of the book.

This book is good for someone interested in becoming more loving but it is also great for someone studying the book of Ruth as it is the focus of this book and the principles that come out of it.

This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/17/2014)
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