Layton E. Williams makes the distinction between a unity that we attempt to create, and the holy unity that comes from Christ. The unity we attempt is often hollow, ignores justice, and often causes more pain by attempting to make everything fine, rather than acknowledging what isn’t okay. It’s the “agree to disagree” where the disagreement can still harm us, deny us, ignore us, or even cause us violence. When we value unity over people, we have missed the point of unity altogether.

Holy Disunity causes us to refocus what it is we seek to be unified in–to be unified in Christ–and to find the gifts of our diversity and difference. Williams’ reframes disunity as a place of challenge and learning, a willingness to stay in the struggle, rather than seeing disunity as a negative, as a failure or abandonment of unity. Disunity may never seem ideal to us, but Williams makes the case that our idealized visions of unity cause more harm than good. Instead, by being our authentic selves, struggling with the challenges of being in relationship with one another, we can remain true to ourselves, honor the differences in others, and love one another in Christ.

This is a helpful book for trying times, and the topical chapters are easy to follow with good discussion guides at the end of the book. This would be a great book for individual or small group study, and I believe accessible from a wide range of views, even if one comes from a different background or perspective from the author. It is especially helpful for those who struggle within their own families and churches to remain in relationship with those they disagree with without seeking a false common ground that often causes more harm than good.

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Holy Disunity arrives October 8th, 2019. You can pre-order here or at your local bookstore.

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