Barthel and Edling work as mediators in church disputes. They are hired to help a church work through a conflict. Usually when they come, it would seem, things are quite a mess. But with experience, and training, and strong biblical focus they are able to help in many cases.
The scriptural focus of this book is Acts chapter 15 where there is a conflict in the first century church. They draw on this passage (and many others) to give good, sound advice from God’s perspective.
Conflict in the church is a reality. As long as people struggle with their flesh there will be the conflict. I find it interesting that one of the main ideas that these mediators bring into a situation is that in all things the parties in conflict should focus on the eternal, and not on winning the conflict. When people’s own interests become their focus conflict rises. When people focus on the health of the church, this perspective allows for solving the conflict.
This book is a very practical text. It is focused around case studies from their experience. Some were successful, while others were not. Discussion questions accompany each chapter of the book. The reader could easily take this book, and use it as a guide to help in their own situation. An interesting read.