I’ve never seen Scott Sauls back down from a difficult topic. And I’ve never seen him miss an opportunity to make much of God’s grace abounding in Jesus. In our age of judgment, isolation, and fear, Sauls shows us what a friend we have in Jesus. An we could all use more friendship in this divided, contentious era.

I don’t think there’s a controversial topic Sauls fails to address in his new book, Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear. He writes about abortion, refugees, politics, racism, poverty, wealth, homosexuality, shame, and more. Sauls is the senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and author of Jesus Outside the Lines, my runner-up for best book by a first-time author in The Gospel Coalition 2015 Editor’s Picks.

He joins me on this podcast episode to discuss angry emails, challenging friends, tough topics, the spirituality of the church, and more.