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Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  633 ratings  ·  231 reviews
Our culture is in a time when reports of inappropriate touch are commonplace. In the church, we’re not doing much better. On one hand, we give side hugs or instate six-inch rules. On the other, we find out—almost daily—about sexual misconduct, affairs, and abuse inflicted within our own walls.
Singles are staying single longer, dating is wrought with angst over purity, a
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by B&H Books (first published February 2020)
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Average rating 4.53  · 
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Rachel Welcher
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lore writes with a full voice of conviction. She is brave like a teacher, and humble like a friend - the kind who will tell you the truth while hugging you tight.
Allyson Todd
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lore's book tackles a subject most Christians don't know what to do about. We're either scared of touch, think its evil, idolize it, or have a myriad of other opinions about touch. Lore Wilbert doesn't provide a "how to touch" guide, but rather a "how to think about touch" guide. I was convicted, helped, stirred, and overall thankful for this much-needed work. The best writing takes either takes something familiar to us and helps us see how unfamiliar it really is, or takes something unfamiliar ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
“...I was silent, and she said, “Remember you’re only human and, at the very least, that means you’re a body. Don’t forget you have a body.””

The incarnation of Christ and our own embodied-ness has come to the forefront in conversations in the Church within the past few years. What do we do with these bodies of ours?

In Lore’s book, she focuses on touch. Touch has become scandalized in Western culture in many ways—and especially in the Christian church. Touch has become sexualized, narrowing and
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a gift of a book. Personally, I love how well Wilbert articulates the oft-times touch-deficient experience of long-term singleness. There's a lot more here than simply that, of course, but given my situation, that's the section that resonated most strongly.

Since she has written more from the perspective of philosophy and theology of touch rather than settled rules to regulate application, we shouldn't read this book alone. We need to share each other's wisdom and experience to navigate how
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
As it turns out, "the purity movement had a good intention, a good motivation (chastity), but its sales pitch, of using sex as the most important thing to sell abstinence, actually led people to value and to focus on the wrong thing. Sex is merely a crumb of the appetizer to the feast of God has prepared for us. Even after the best sex, we will always be wanting more. We must touch with eternity in mind.

The above statement resonated with me because I think it represents the book as a whole that
Darlene Messenger
I received this book through Instagram and NetGalley. I was accepted as one of the launch team members for this book and asked to give an honest opinion. I was directed to NetGalley for a review copy and to the Facebook discussion group page where we can comment. I am awaiting a free print copy from the publisher upon publication.
All comments and opinions are my own.
Touch, to touch and be touched is a human need. We are born with it, do not thrive without it. In this culture of the #metoo movem
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this is such an important book.

Touch is such a sticky topic in our culture and many people avoid touch altogether out of fear. Lore writes beautifully about the importance of touch and points us back to Jesus and His ministry. Jesus used touch as a means of healing and a way to acknowledge a person's humanity. He didn't just speak healing, but many times chose to touch the leper or place his hands over the blind man's eyes. We have the chance to offer others a similar ministering and healin
Tabitha McDuffee
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Handle With Care is a special book.

Yes, it’s a much-needed and sorely overdue treatment of the issue of touch written from a robustly biblical perspective. But what is even more special than the subject is Lore herself. She approaches authorship, theology, and her own influence in Christian circles with an attitude of humility and authenticity from which I believe we all can learn.

Lore has been doing slow and faithful work for decades. She didn’t write Handle With Care with the intention of “mak
Annette Wagoner
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don’t touch people. That has been my default response after 14 years of teaching public high school students. It just wasn’t at school where I refrained from touching people, but in all areas of my life since as long as I can remember. There are those few moments and those few people who have broken through that tough outer shell that I have built for decades, but those are few and far between.

Then when I stared reading Lore Ferguson Wilbert’s new book Handle With Care, I became more aware of
Kristen Neely
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Your story is infinitely complex and different than mine, and this one book can’t give answers to the complicated stories, narratives, and journeys we’re all on with touch... My aim again and again will be to show you to the grandness of God, His love for you, His love for others, and how that should inform how you think about and practice touch. My goal is to broaden the pastures of touch in which you run.”

I love that Lore didn’t seek to give us a “one size fits all” prescription for how we s
Brianna Smith
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have followed Lore’s blog for many years and her words have always struck a chord in my heart that not many others do. In a world of quick fixes, Lore offers gospel truth that seeps in to truly transform. Will this book offer you a checklist of dos and don’ts when it comes to healthy and holy touch? No. But what it will do is offer a beautiful picture of Christ’s healing and holy touch and how that provides a hope and pattern for our own. This is a book I know I will turn to again and again as ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was so glad to read this book and thought it was very well done. I love the way that Lore uses personal experience and story, robust research and quotations, and many, many Bible passages (in context!) to flesh out each chapter of this book. Touch isn't something I have spent a lot of time thinking about, but now I will, and many things in this book resonated with me. I think many people will read this book and feel seen and known and loved and hopefully experience healing through Lore's words ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever thought about the word “touch” and what does the Bible say about it? In all honesty, I have not, and if you were to ask me about it ~ I am one of those people who like space, someone who puts up imaginary boundary lines, not really a hugging type of person. I am sure this is a weakness of mine and I really don’t have much of an answer as to why I am this way until I read this book. I know there are others out there similar to me, but we can’t begin to understand why someone else is ...more
Sommer Wilkerson
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Raw and vulnerable, while being thoughtfully restrained. In a culture rampant with a abuse and that has sexualized every touch, each one of us needs to take a look at our own thoughts and patterns in regards to physical touch. Can the power of touch between humans be redeemed by Christ? Examining the ministry of Christ is a wise place to start. Lore shares some of her own story to lend insight into her perspective, many quotes from respected thinkers/authors, and most importantly relies heavily ...more
Elena Forsythe
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I love this book so much. Lore covers so many critical topics for believers who want to imitate Jesus’ care for people. I think what hit me most deeply is that Jesus was not limited by what people think, he did whatever was necessary to show the love of God to the people in front of him. I pray I will learn to do the same.

Read this book.
Aylin Merck
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Lore writes, I pay attention. She is a thoughtful and thought provoking writer. This book made me think about how I use touch to love & serve others intentionally. She challenges the reader to consider their own stories and how those stories influence how they feel about touch and why (either being touched or touching others). This whole book is timely and relevant to where the church is today. The chapters on singleness and marriage are especially helpful. This book will be serve anyone wh ...more
Paola Barrera
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you're not familiar with Lore's writing this book will be a wonderful introduction to it. She writes about hard things in a beautiful way. This is how I usually describe it to friends. A topic as mundane and yet uneasy as phisical touch, written from a Christian perspective isn't something a lot of people can pull off with both grace and clarity. She can. It will grab you by the heart after a few pages and make you think about phisical touch, how you do it, receive it, and view it, in a way t ...more
Cheyenne Boluyt
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I was blown away by this book. I think it’s a helpful read for anyone, but especially those in ministry in any capacity. Lore takes a subject, touch, that much of modern evangelicalism has deconstructed, but very little, if any, time reconstructing. This is not a “do’s and don’ts” book, but a thoughtful, theological analysis with Lore’s own story interwoven.
Miranda Kuykendall
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've followed Lore's writing for the last five years or so and have learned so much from her perspective. In Handle with Care, Lore has thoughtfully laid out so many things for the reader to consider about touch and its impact. She is careful to consider those who have endured trauma, while also encouraging all readers to think more deeply and often about touch. The book shares a number of Scriptural examples of healing touch, discusses touch for both single and married people, and points out ho ...more
Melissa Cran
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lore writes excellently about the subject of touch in a society that seemingly only knows the avoidance of touch or touch that harms. Using the interactions Jesus had with people, Lore shows how touch ministers deeply to people when we change how we view people not as objects of our affections but as the subjects of God's love. ...more
Candice Kraus
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I may rewrite this once I've had more time to contemplate, but this is absolutely a must-read for Christians. I've never read or even heard of a theology of touch before, and with the state of our churches today, it's obvious that there is a gaping hole in the way we think of this. This book provides a way forward for healthy touch in a culture with so much fear of their touch being misconstrued or with purity culture ringing in their ears. Profound, beautifully worded, a must read for sure. ...more
MK Wildeman
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lore's book isn't a how-to on touch, but instead she opens up an unheard conversation about ministering touch. Using biblical and thoughtful sources, it is clear Lore is in good company by addressing the confusing topic of touch. This is a must read as culture and the church navigate touch.

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher
Brooke Ledbetter
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of the book from the publisher. I cannot recommend it enough. I’ve been talking about it non-stop with friends and family as I’ve read it. You won’t find step by step instructions on how and when to touch, but what you will find is a redeemed view of what healthy touch is in the midst of a current culture that is utterly confused about it and thoughtful rhetoric to help you reconsider how you handle touch in your own life.

This book caused me to think about h
Breanna Schmidt
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is about the ministry and theology of touch. It made me squeamish at first because I long ago relegated physical contact to only what was absolutely necessary. In this book Lore makes a compelling argument to why I need (and probably you) to rethink that. Lore chose a really important time to write this book. I love her writing because it isn't indulgent catharsis which stands in contrast to many other Christian writers right now. This book challenged me and made me uncomfortable in re ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a theology book unlike any I’ve read before, addressing important issues of physical care toward each other through touch. It’s not a prescriptive guide, and some will certainly want that, but it should prove to be an important conversation starter on the subject of affectionate, non-sexual touch and its use in the body of Christ. (I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher.) ...more
Tresta Payne
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In calling us to Christ-likeness, Lore reminds us of the part of ministry we so often avoid in our culture—appropriate touch—without offering prescriptions or lists. The book makes you think, prompts great discussions with your dating-age kids, and may challenge your notions about who is untouchable.
Lore has written a book that I didn't know I needed, and now I'm more aware of people who may need a hug. That's reason enough to recommend this book.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't recall when I first started following Lore on social media but I do know that I have been deeply impressed and inspired by her ability to write so beautifully on a variety of topics (see her blog So when I heard she was going to write a book on touch, I was immediately excited. We so often associate touch with sexuality and eroticism; and this is true within secular culture ("When Harry Met Sally") as well as the church ("I Kissed Dating Goodbye")! But as Lore writes so gra ...more
Liz Lockwood
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Handle With Care beautifully highlights every person's experience of living within a physical body - with all the physical desires and ailments that are present within - while also giving a sound, theological perspective that finds hope in our Creator God, who made these very bodies. This book is an excellent example of theology in practice.

The subject of physical touch in the year 2020 is not an easy one. For most, it brings certain confusion and positive and negative memories alike. For some,
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-kindle, a-netgalley
I have been a faithful reader of Lore’s blog for a couple years now and have come to deeply appreciate her poetic yet down-to-earth voice. Her touch on difficult topics is gentle yet unafraid of firm Truth.

Knowing that, I expected to love Handle With Care, and I wasn’t disappointed. Lore handles the topic of touch beautifully. She covers many the kinds of touch we give and receive in our various relationships (marriage, children, family, the church, professionally, socially, etc.) and the ways
Sara Fukuda
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is really thought provoking.

A gentle but challenging book on a terribly important subject. How do we think about touch, and our bodies? Touching others? Touching ourselves?
How did Jesus minister to people?

How important is touch? (Spoiler: extremely!)

I read this book after a string of trauma-related books and books about the sexual abuse crisis. It was a breath of fresh air to remember God created us in bodies intending for us to use our bodies to love and minister to others. Definite
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Oh hey, we're nearly halfway through 2021! We can't really believe it either... Traditionally, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial...
50 likes · 8 comments
“We need to teach how to touch with true care. Care for our own bodies and for the bodies of others, because those bodies were created by a good and caring God.” 1 likes
“This means we must choose to walk in humility, trusting the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom when we ask, discernment when we’re confused, healing when we need it, forgiveness for where we’ve sinned, and help for all the ways we use our hands to live.” 0 likes
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