Love Kindness

Dr. Barry H. Corey

Love Kindness book cover

About the Book

Kindness is not what we have been taught it is. It isn’t a soft virtue, expressed only by sweet grandmothers or nice Boy Scouts. Kindness is neither timid nor frail. Instead, it is brave and daring, willing to be vulnerable with those with whom we disagree. It is the revolutionary way that Jesus himself called us to live. The way of selfless risks. The way of staggering hope. The way of authenticity.

Dr. Barry Corey, president of Biola University, believes we tend to devalue the importance of kindness, opting instead for caustic expressions of certainty that push people away. We forget that the essence of what God requires of us is to “love kindness”. In this book, filled with stories from his travels around the globe, Barry shows us the forgotten way of kindness. It is a life that calls us to put ourselves at risk. A life that calls us to hope. A life of a firm center and soft edges. It is the life Christ invites us to follow, no matter what the cost.

Photo of Barry H. Corey

About the Author

A native of Boston, Dr. Barry H. Corey has been president of Biola University since 2007. He previously served as vice president for education at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Corey received a BA in English and biblical studies from Evangel University and an MA in American studies and a PhD in education from Boston College. As a Fulbright scholar, he lived in Bangladesh, where he researched educational programs for children of the landless poor. He and his wife, Paula, live in Southern California and have three children: Anders, Ella, and Samuel.

Praise for Love Kindness

Eric Metaxas

New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer and host of the nationally syndicated Eric Metaxas Show

“This book makes me realize we are in dire need of more people like my friend Barry Corey, people of startling authenticity and genuinely humble and joyful faith. But there’s great news: if you read this book, you may well become such a person. You’ll certainly begin that journey. I recommend it highly.”

Mark Batterson

New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker and lead pastor of National Community Church

“Barry Corey’s reminder that Christians are called to ‘love kindness’ is refreshing, convicting, and extremely timely. What if kindness became a more defining attribute of Christ-followers than defensiveness?”

Gabe Lyons

Q Founder and author of Good Faith

“Barry Corey lives in the tension every single day. His commitment to live with biblical conviction and never shy away from the most difficult questions makes him one of my go-to sources for wisdom and encouragement.”

Roberta Green Ahmanson

Writer, philanthropist, and art patron

“Barry Corey challenges believers in Jesus Christ to respond to the breathtaking cultural and moral changes around us with courage and kindness. Love Kindness is a road map for living in the world while not becoming part of it. Read it and take heart.”

Jim Daly

President of Focus on the Family

“My friend Dr. Barry Corey has written an insightful and empowering book illustrating how kindness is a key that can unlock many closed doors. Everyone can and should strive to be kinder than we are. It’s a fruit of the Spirit that requires deliberate effort to cultivate, but the results can be transformational.”

Alistair Begg

Radio host and pastor on Truth for Life

“A thought-provoking, heart-stirring challenge to consider kindness as a barometer of a grace-shaped life.”

Kelly Monroe Kullberg

Author of Finding God beyond Harvard: The Quest for Veritas

“Niceness is quiet and passive, often to the demise of a person and of a culture. But kindness is courageous and truthful because of love. It will trade its own popularity to seek the highest good of others. In his life, in his face and voice, in his university, and in this good book, Barry Corey shows us the way of kindness. He leads.”

David F. Wells

Distinguished Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological seminary

“A warm, humane, funny but pungent book. Corey takes the reader into the real, day-to-day stuff of living and reflects on the practice of Christian kindness in the midst of all of this. He does so with poignant honesty and with real insight. Don’t read this book if you don’t want to be moved.”

Miroslav Volf

Author of Flourishing and founding director of Yale Center for Faith and Culture

“Deep disagreements often create strong frictions that at times flare up into hostilities and even wars. In this wise and compelling book Barry Corey draws on his personal and professional experience to offer an antidote: the forgotten virtue of kindness—not as a mere social lubricant of ‘niceness,’ but as a generous way of life modeled on Christ’s. The proposal is simple but revolutionary: the world would change if people with deep disagreements agreed to be kind to one another. A very much needed book at this juncture of evangelical engagement with the broader culture.”

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.

President Emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“If ever there was a book that was desperately needed in our day, let me ‘kindly’ say, it is Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue. What is required of Christian disciples is that we should ‘love kindness.’ Here is God’s gift to a watching world where the shrill tone of yelling at each other keeps getting louder and more acrimonious by the hour. In this beautifully written volume, President Corey has gently urged Christians to respond not in kind, but with God’s kindness and love. I warmly endorse Dr. Corey’s book as one of the most important antidotes to a dangerous moment in our history.”

Gregory Alan Thornbury

President of The King’s College

“In a world of social media trolls and cable news shouting matches, people of goodwill everywhere are calling for a return to civility. Capable thinkers have addressed the issue philosophically and theologically. Barry Corey builds upon such foundational principles, but what makes this book distinctive is its narrative approach. Through real-world illustrations, Biola’s president walks us through what kindness in action looks like on some of the most difficult issues of our day. Highly recommended.”

Bryan Loritts

Pastor for Preaching and Mission, Trinity Grace Church, New York City

Love Kindness is a sorely needed plea, written at what I believe is the most opportune time of my life. The changes in the culture are breathtaking: escalating racial tension, questions of gender identity, equality, and rights along with much more presents us with a unique moment in history to be voices of grace and truth in the marketplace. Shouting or silence are not the paths to influence. Instead we need a third way, the way of kindness, expounded and exemplified by my friend Barry Corey.”

Richard J. Mouw, PhD

President Emeritus and Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary

“We evangelicals need this book. And the folks who see us as mean-spirited people need it too—to get a good picture of biblical fidelity at its best. Barry Corey makes the case for kindness with clarity and courage. In this book he has both inspired me and taught me!”

Nancy Ortberg

Author of Seeing in the Dark: Finding God’s Light in the Most Unexpected Places

“Finally…please EVERY ONE of us who follow Christ, PLEASE read this book. Our starting point with people probably reveals much more about what’s going on inside of us, and Barry points us to a kindness that shifts our soul and opens our heart. With a deft way with words, he captures the essence of a winsome civility that our world so desperately needs.”

Randy Alcorn

Author of The Grace and Truth Paradox and Happiness

“Barry Corey has written an important book, which I thoroughly enjoyed. He advocates true kindness without reducing it to mere cosmetic niceness. Too many Christians choose between standing for truth and demonstrating grace, and the result is self-righteous meanness disguised as truth or indifferent tolerance disguised as grace. Love Kindness attempts to avoid both errors, and it’s full of both grace and truth, with warm and heart-touching stories. (I was particularly moved by the example of Barry’s dad.) The church today desperately needs the humility that rejects mean-spirited religion and exemplifies kindness while upholding biblical truth. You needn’t agree with everything in this book to profit from it immensely—it will make you think, reflect, and see yourself as others may see you. Most important, it may prompt you to ask Jesus, ‘Will you help me to love kindness?’”

J. P. Moreland

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Biola University and author of The Soul: How We Know It’s Real and Why It Matters

“Barry Corey is a kind man. He learned to be kind from his remarkable father. So Corey is well qualified—academically and spiritually—to write this book, a book that embodies the interesting approach of teaching different aspects of kindness through stories in his own life. For Corey, kindness is not niceness, adopting a position of compromise, or an expression of a desire to be received. Rather, it is having a firm center and soft edges, it is learning to be receivable, and it is learning to dialog with those with whom we disagree with kindness in the way of Jesus. The number of issues that divide us is multiplying each day. As a result, there never has been a time other than now when Love Kindness is so desperately needed. Get this book, read it, discuss it with your friends and those whom you oppose. You’ll be glad you did.”

Sean McDowell

Assistant professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, an internationally acclaimed speaker, and the bestselling author of over fifteen books including A New Kind of Apologist

Love Kindness is insightful, enjoyable, and inspiring. In an age when rancor and opposition seem to be ramping up, Dr. Corey challenges Christians to embrace the way of kindness. I found myself cheering at some points and personally convicted at others. As Christians, we are committed to biblical teaching. And yet, as Love Kindness so clearly portrays, we must live and teach that truth with genuine kindness towards others. My thanks to Dr. Corey for providing a helpful road map for how Christians can live both the grace and truth of Jesus in our world today.”

Dr. Philip G. Ryken

President of Wheaton College

“Kindness is not niceness: a trivial virtue that is easy to fake. It is rather a radical commitment that calls every follower of Christ to costly love. We need more kindness in our homes, where—strangely—we are often at our worst with the people we love. We also need it in the church, where sometimes our behavior is even worse. And we need it most desperately of all in our personal relationships with people outside the Christian faith. Few leaders exemplify the kindness of Christ as consistently as Barry Corey, whose compelling stories and wise exhortations elevate this necessary virtue to its proper place in daily Christian life and the church’s witness to the world.”

Ken Shigematsu

Pastor of Tenth Church Vancouver and bestselling author of God in My Everything

“Barry Corey’s radiant life and deeply personal, poignant, and often humorous book beautifully capture the kind of Christian I long to be: wise and winsome, courageous and civil, known for what I am for…not for what I am against. Live out the message of Love Kindness and you will find yourself less in a culture war and more like the early church, growing in favor with God and people.”

Phil Cooke

Filmmaker, media consultant, and author of Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media

“Having spent my career working in the media, I am convinced that one of the biggest reasons Christians are marginalized in our culture is the perception that we’re bullies, trying to push our agenda on nonbelievers. That’s why this could not be a better time for Dr. Barry Corey’s new book, Love Kindness. This is more than a book. It’s a strategy for transforming culture.”

Ed Stetzer

Executive director of LifeWay Research and senior fellow, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College

“You can’t hate a people and reach a people at the same time. So, in moments like this, when culture is changing and many Christians are angry, we need wise leaders to show a better way. That’s exactly what Barry Corey does in Love Kindness. This will be an essential book for Christians as they engage the new cultural moment we are in.”

Richard Foth

Coauthor with Mark Batterson of A Trip around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life into the Adventure of a Lifetime

“With candor and winsomeness, Barry Corey confronts the way I think about my life. Kindness has always been attractive, but he makes it magnetic. With relentless precision and great stories, he shows again and again that kindness is found where grace and truth come together. His reach is broad—across the lines of race and ethnicity and theology and sexual orientation. So, when he calls the reader to aggressive kindness and ‘being receivable,’ it makes sense. At his father’s memorial service in 1998, Barry asked me to read a letter he had written to his dad. I was honored beyond measure. That is precisely what I felt when I finished Love Kindness: honored. Read it. You’ll see.”

Mike Erre

Pastor, author, and teacher

Love Kindness is a much needed reframing of the cultural conversations of our day. How Christians express their allegiance to Jesus in the world is just as important as that they do so. Dr. Barry Corey invites us to again consider the way of Jesus and the postures of heart he embodied in his ministry. This book is a clear, compelling call to reexamine how Christians engage the culture. Highly recommended.”

Caleb Kaltenbach

Lead pastor of Discovery Church

“While many books address faith and culture, I’ve yet to find one like Love Kindness. As I turned each page, I continually found myself convicted and challenged. Kindness is an uncompromising trait that all Christians should possess. We can all thank Barry Corey for writing this book and pushing us further toward what it means to follow Jesus.”

D. Michael Lindsay

President of Gordon College

“As compelling as it is convicting, Love Kindness shows how a life of selfless kindness can change the world for God’s glory. This is Barry Corey at his finest. I highly recommend this for readers who want to better serve the kingdom of God.”

More Praise

Love Kindness Press

Article: The Radical Call of Kindness

Biola Magazine, Summer 2016

Interview: Ed Stetzer

The Exchange Podcast, May 19, 2016

Review: "Two Must Reads For 2016"

Hugh Hewitt, March 20, 2016

Article: "Love No Matter What"

The Chimes, March 8, 2016

Interview: Janet Parshall

Moody Radio, March 8, 2016

Article: "Love Your Frenemies"

The Chimes, Sept. 9, 2015