The Church and Friendship

This painting, The Tower of Babel, is by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, drawn from the story in Genesis 11 concerning human language.  Photo credit:  Google Art Project, Wikimedia Commons. 


the church and friendship

Messages and Essays on the Church and Friendship

Friendship: Is It Really That Important? (Matthew 5:21 - 26; 7:1 - 12) Friendship is important enough to prioritize, but not important enough for which we disobey Jesus

Why Jesus, Faith, and Character Come Before Affection and Love (TBD) (2 Peter 1:5 - 11) Contrary to what our culture tells us, that we're ready for affection and love, Christian faith says that we need to rebuild from a foundation of Jesus 

Friendship for a Healthy Culture of Dating (Ephesians 4:25 - 32) given at Rescued Church Boston, Jul 19, 2015 (video

Friendship Across Cultures (1 Corinthians 9:19 - 22) given at Rescued Church Boston, Jul 12, 2015 (video)  

Go and Do Likewise Series (Grace Christian Church Waltham, Feb 2017) Friendship and Racial Reconciliation based on Jesus' Good Samaritan parable in Luke 10:25 - 37 

Dishon Mills, Go and Do Likewise 1 (Grace Christian Church Waltham, Feb 5, 2017)

Afrika Mills, Go and Do Likewise 2 (Grace Christian Church Waltham, Feb 12, 2017)

Mako Nagasawa, Go and Do Likewise 3 (and ppts) (Grace Christian Church Waltham, Feb 19, 2017)

Eddie Lowe, Go and Do Likewise 4 (Grace Christian Church Waltham, Feb 26, 2017) 

Other Books and Articles on the Church and Friendship

Spiritual Friendship: Musings on God, Sexuality, Relationships (website)

The Bruderhof (website)

Augustine, Confessions, from chapter 4, paragraphs 7 - 24 (354 - 430 AD)

John Cassian, On Friendship, from Conferences 16 (360 - 435 AD)

Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship (1110 - 1167 AD)

Charlotte and Denis Plimmer, JRR Tolkien: "I Never Expected a Money Success" (Telegraph UK, Mar 22, 1968 reprinted Oct 21, 2015)

Steven Hart, The Real Fellowship of the Ring (Salon, Dec 3, 2003)

Stuart Jeffries, Alain Badiou: A Life in Writing (The Guardian, May 18, 2012)

Rabbi David Wolpe, The Limitations of Being "Spiritual But Not Religious" (Time op-ed, Mar 21, 2013)

Emily Esfahani Smith, Relationships Are More Important Than Ambition (The Atlantic, Apr 16, 2013)

Shimi Cohen, The Innovation of Loneliness (video)

Lifeboat, State of Friendship in America 2013 (Lifeboat, May 2, 2013)

Matthew Hutson, Morality, Secret to Popularity (Boston Globe, Oct 27, 2013)

Hannah Roberts, Terribly Disfigured Man Who Was Held by the Pope Relives the Moment That Moved the World (U.K. Mail Online, Nov 18, 2013)

Lisa Wade, American Men's Hidden Crisis: They Need More Friends! (Salon, Dec 7, 2013)

Betsy Childs, C.S. Lewis on Friendship, with Implications for Twitter (First Things, May 21, 2014)

Alan Jacobs, Fantasy and the Buffered Self (The New Atlantis, Winter 2014)

Corey Widmer, Traditional Sexuality, Radical Community (The Gospel Coalition, Oct 3, 2014)

Andy Kim, Five Practices for Developing Deep Friendships, Part 1 (IVCF blog, Oct 9, 2014)

Andy Kim, Five Practices for Developing Deep Friendships, Part 2 (IVCF blog, Oct 10, 2014)

George Monbiot, The Age of Loneliness is Killing Us (Guardian, Oct 14, 2014)

Travis Bradberry, How Successful People Handle Toxic People (Forbes, Oct 21, 2014)

Derek Thompson, Why Cliques Form at Some High Schools and Not Others (The Atlantic, Nov 10, 2014)

Johann Hari, The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think (Huffington Post, Jan 20, 2015)

Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence, Stop Overlooking Singles in Church (Today's Christian Woman, Feb 8, 2015)

Mark Greene, Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys? (The Good Men Project, Feb 26, 2015)

Anonymous, Pregnant at Harvard (Harvard Crimson, Apr 27, 2015) on lack of friendship

Matthew Teague, The Friend (Esquire, May 10, 2015) on the friend who stayed when a man's wife died of cancer

Anonymous, The Ones We Leave Behind (Harvard Crimson, May 27, 2015)

Stephen Nemes, Friendship According to Friends (The Crucified God blog, Jul 15, 2015)

Robbie Crouch, This Quick-Thinking Teen Cleverly Befriended a Woman's Kidnapper to Rescue Her (Upworthy, Aug 20, 2015) a great example of listening

Robert Wicks, The 4 Types of Friends You Need in Your Life (Psychology Today, Aug 24, 2015)

Eric Metaxas, How J.R.R. Tolkien Helped Lead C.S. Lewis to Faith (The Stream, Oct 12, 2015)

C.S. Lewis, Love is Vulnerable (Zen Pencils)

Ben Myers, God is Love: Varieties of Love in Christian Tradition (Faith and Theology blog, Nov 2015)

Brett and Kate McKay, The Power of Conversation: A Lesson from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien (The Art of Manliness blog, Nov 2, 2015)

Ted Johnston, Pastoral Care as Moral Advocacy (The Surprising God blog, Nov 16, 2015)

Thomas Burnett, Married, With Roommates: Why My Wife and I Choose to Live in a Group House (Vox, Nov 17, 2015)

Kim Brooks, I'm Having a Friendship Affair (New York Magazine, Dec 2015) A look at the intensely obsessive, deeply meaningful, occasionally undermining, marriage-threatening, slightly pathological platonic intimacy that can happen between women

Rebecca Traister, What Women Find in Friends That They May Not Get From Love (NY Times, Feb 27, 2016)

Cassie Werber, Research Has Uncovered the Precise Age At Which We Start Losing Friends (Quartz, May 20, 2016)

Sebastian Junger, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (Amazon book, May 24, 2016)

Jeff Smith and Bill Moser, We Left Upper-Class Suburbia to Become Amish and Learned What Community Really Means (Washington Post, Jun 21, 2016) 

Joseph Hellerman, Our Priorities Are Off When Family is More Important Than Church (Christianity Today, Aug 4, 2016)

Bradley J. Birzir, Brothers and Friends: Warren and C.S. Lewis (The Imaginative Conservative, Aug 2016)

Conor Friedersdorf, A College is a Community But Not a Home (The Atlantic, Sep 24, 2016) relates to Nancy Abelmann, The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation (Amazon book, Nov 20, 2009)

Kate Murphy, Do Your Friends Actually Like You? (NY Times, Aug 6, 2016)

Paul Midden, I've Spent 30 Years Counseling Priests Who Fall In Love. Here's What I've Learned (Vox, Oct 5, 2016)

David Brooks, Intimacy for the Avoidant (NY Times, Oct 7, 2016)

Dalai Lama and Arthur C. Brooks, Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded (NY Times, Nov 4, 2016)

Dhruv Khullar, How Social Isolation Is Killing Us (NY Times, Dec 22, 2016) 

Caroline Praderio, One Man Spent Years Befriending KKK Members and Persuaded 200 of Them to Leave the Group (Business Insider, Dec 28, 2016)

Eve Tushnet, Beyond Religious Life and Marriage: A Look at Friendship as Vocation (America Magazine, Jan 24, 2017)

Billy Baker, The Biggest Threat Facing Middle-Age Men Isn’t Smoking or Obesity. It’s Loneliness. (Boston Globe, Mar 9, 2017)

Emily Dreyfuss, Silicon Valley Would Rather Cure Death Than Make Life Worth Living (Wired, Mar 23, 2017)

Liz Mineo, Good Genes Are Nice, But Joy is Better (Harvard Gazette, Apr 11, 2017) relational connection shown to increase life

Denis Campbell, Facebook and Twitter 'Harm Young People's Mental Health' (The Guardian, May 19, 2017) Poll of 14- to 24-year-olds shows Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter increased feelings of inadequacy, anxiety

Chris Weller, A Neuroscientist Who Studies Decision-Making Reveals the Most Important Choice You Can Make (Business Insider, Jul 28, 2017) the company you keep

Vivek H. Murthy, Work and the Loneliness Epidemic (Harvard Business Review, Sep 2017)

Roc Morin, How to Hire Fake Friends and Family (The Atlantic, Nov 7, 2017) re: the Japanese rent-a-friend industry; see also Elif Batuman, Japan's Rent-A-Family Industry (New Yorker, Apr 30, 2018)

Rhitu Chatterjee, Americans Are A Lonely Lot, And Young People Bear The Heaviest Burden (NPR, May 1, 2018)

Clay Routledge, Suicides Have Increased. Is This an Existential Crisis? (NY Times, Jun 23, 2018)

Deborah Copaken, What I Learned About Life at My 30th College Reunion (The Atlantic, Oct 24, 2018)

Jolie Kerr, How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross (NY Times, Nov 17, 2018) eight tips

Arthur C. Brooks, How Loneliness Is Tearing America Apart (NY Times, Nov 23, 2018) re: political implications especially

Brianna West, Connection Is a Core Human Need, But We Are Terrible at It (Medium, Dec 4, 2018)

Melanie Hamlett, Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden (Bazaar, May 2, 2019)

Abigail Murrish, Both Purity Culture and Hook-Up Culture Failed Me (Christianity Today, Jul 2019) “then I found church fellowship”

Ashley Fetters, Some Men Share Their Secrets Only in Therapy (The Atlantic, Sep 26, 2019) “And they would probably benefit from confiding in more people.”


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