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About Melissa Florer-Bixler
Melissa is the pastor of Raleigh Mennonite Church, and a graduate of Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary. She spent times studying in Israel/Palestine, Kenya, and England. Much of her formation took place in the L'Arche community of Portland, OR. Now she prefers the Eno River and her garden in Raleigh, NC. She is the board chair of L'Arche North Carolina and a steering committee member in broad-based organizing in her county. Melissa's writing has appeared in Christian Century, Sojourners, Geez, Anabaptist Witness, The Bias, Faith&Leadership, and Anabaptist Vision. From time to time she publishes academic writing. She and her spouse parent three children.
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Titles By Melissa Florer-Bixler
Jesus called us to love our enemies. But to befriend an enemy, we first have to acknowledge their existence, understand who they are, and recognize the ways they are acting in opposition to God’s good news. In How to Have an Enemy: Righteous Anger and the Work of Peace, Melissa Florer-Bixler looks closely at what the Bible says about enemies—who they are, what they do, and how Jesus and his followers responded to them. The result is a theology that allows us to name our enemies as a form of truth-telling about ourselves, our communities, and the histories in which our lives are embedded. Only then can we grapple with the power of the acts of destruction carried out by our enemies, and invite them to lay down their enmity, opening a path for healing, reconciliation, and unity.
Jesus named and confronted his enemies as an essential part to loving them. In this provocative book, Florer-Bixler calls us to do the same.
What do we do with the Old Testament? How do we read words written in a world so different from ours, stories so ruthless and so filled with grace?
In Fire by Night, pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler invites readers to marvel at the Old Testament. Page after page, in stories and poems and prophecies, the Hebrew Scripture introduces us to a God who is unwieldy and uncontrollable, common and extraordinary, and who brings both life and death. Using stories from Scripture and from her ministry, Florer-Bixler braids together the text with the sometimes ordinary, sometimes radical grace of God. The same passages that confuse and horrify and baffle us can, if we are paying attention, lure us closer toward God. This God has traveled with people through cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the beginning of time.
The Old Testament is a perplexing book of profound grace, hope, and beauty. It’s a book of fire. To read the Old Testament is to draw close to God’s love, which continues to burn away our expectations and set us ablaze. This God has traveled with people through pillars of cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the days of the exodus.