Tara’s Blog

Hope and Help for Church Conflict

Facebook just reminded me that it was one year ago today that The Gospel Coalition & 9Marks endorsed David Edling’s and my book, “Redeeming Church Conflicts.” What an honor! And even more importantly, what a JOY that so many people facing the misery of church conflict have received biblical hope and practical help.

If you haven’t yet read it, you can order the first edition of “Redeeming Church Conflicts” through my website for only $10 with free shipping (within the USA).

You can read excerpts from the book and Q&A responses on our website hereA number of our endorsements are listed here.

And I’ll close with just a few summary endorsements:

Matt Smethurst, Managing Editor of The Gospel Coalition, as published in the 9Marks Journal – “Barthel and Edling suggest we have much to learn from Luke’s account of the meeting in Jerusalem to redeem the early church’s first major conflict … They are exactly right. Barthel and Edling have done the church a vital service in applying biblical counseling principles to the realm of congregational conflict. Don’t wait until you find yourself in a relational mess to consult this helpful resource; read and benefit now.” 

Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher and author of the Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible Study Series – “This book delivers exactly what is needed in church conflict: a wealth of biblical wisdom and professional expertise as well as an unflinching challenge toward self-examination and away from angry entrenchment and graceless condemnation. But best of all it offers a huge dose of hope that what is so hurtful and seems only destructive will be used by God to conform his church to his image for his glory.”

Robert Kellemen, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, Author of Equipping Counselors for Your Church – “Tara and David’s guiding concept of ‘responding redemptively’ deeply resonates with me. Their understanding that the Bible provides not a formula for redeeming church conflict, but a biblical, relational roadmap, equally resonates. I’m encouraged and equipped, as I believe you will be, by their practical, scriptural wisdom.”

Megan Evans Hill, pastor’s wife, pastor’s daughter, writer, speaker, author of Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer in Our Homes, Communities, and Churches – “Experienced conciliators Tara Barthel and David Edling offer a warm, biblical, and careful roadmap for navigating church crises. Through exposition and application, they bring the truth of God’s Word to direct suffering churches toward healing. Through practical case studies, they illuminate the way with specific examples. Perhaps surprisingly for a book about sin and its fruits, these pages are also filled with hope … whether your church is currently in the midst of strife or proactively seeking to avoid it in future, this book is an excellent guide.”

Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal – “Barthel and Edling tackle a subject most would prefer to ignore yet all have to face … Multiple case studies provide nice balance to the theology and advice. The book is theologically rich, seasoned with wisdom that comes from years in the trenches of church conflict. The hope here is powerful: even our conflicts become opportunities for the gospel’s redemptive work.”

Carolyn McCulley, author of Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred – “Tara Barthel and David Edling have written a wise and tender reminder that our Lord’s redemptive purposes extend even to today, even to the most fractious church bodies. Whether you are an ordained leader or a new church member, Redeeming Church Conflicts is a must read. It will give you hope that whatever conflicts you are currently in, or will encounter in the future, can be resolved in a holy and purposeful manner, to the praise of God’s glory.”

Ken Sande, author of The Peacemaker and founder of Relational Wisdom 360 – “My friends Dave and Tara have served dozens of churches that were teetering on the brink of destruction … having gained a passport into the hearts of individuals and opposing factions, Tara and Dave became channels of God’s reconciling grace. I pray that you will study this book carefully and apply its principles in your church.”

Thanks and blessings!
Tara B.