Enduring Friendship: Sticking Together in an Age of Unfriending, By Bryan C. Loritts

Enduring Friendship

Sticking Together in an Age of Unfriending

by Bryan C. Loritts
Foreword by John Mark Comer

Enduring Friendship
  • Length: 160 pages
  • Dimensions: 5 × 7 in
  • Published: March 12, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0844
  • ISBN: 9781514008447

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Friendships are difficult.

Sometimes it can seem as if friends are more work and pain than they're worth, with friendship challenges that we have to endure and struggle through. Life gets in the way of our well-intentioned efforts to connect. Conflicts and differences over serious issues divide us and make us think that we could never be close to a person ever again. In today's cancel culture, it's easy to give up on people and just walk away, leaving us all more isolated than before. How can we build real relationships that are life giving and pass the test of time?

Bryan Loritts mines one of the Bible's least-known books for insights into how friendships can flourish even in the midst of sin and brokenness. With careful exposition and insight, he unpacks how the apostle Paul helped Philemon and Onesimus reconcile a most unlikely relationship with truth, repentance, and grace. With God’s work and steadfast love, even the most painful relationships that have ruptured are not beyond the reach of forgiveness and reconciliation. Discover how friendships that are hard can be transformed into friendships that endure.

"Bryan is painfully honest about the challenge of long-term friendships. Yet you read this book and come away burning with desire to bare your soul to another in love. . . . I walked away from reading Enduring Friendship not only recaptured by the beauty of the gospel, but also deeply moved by the power of grace."

John Mark Comer, author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, from the foreword

"Let's face it, the statistics are not good about grownups, especially men, and their ability to maintain close friendships outside their family. Bryan Loritts confronts this reality with a book-length antidote to a growing culture of friendless lives. His blunt honesty, practical remedy, biblical fidelity, and heart of charity will leave you hopeful that indeed, friendships new and old can endure."

Barry H. Corey, president of Biola University and author of Love Kindness: Discovering the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue

"Friendships are difficult to navigate; friendships among believers in Christ are no less difficult. They may even be more difficult as there is a level of accountability built into that friendship based on a mutual desire to live out the mandate to be like Christ. Dr. Loritts masterfully and lovingly leads us by way of careful exegesis through the powerful letter of Paul to Philemon. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to strengthen a friendship or repair a ruptured one."

Jody Moore, lead pastor of Transformation Church IE in Chino, California

"It's one thing to write a book about friendship and another thing to be the type of friend you're writing about. What comes through on these pages is penned by a man who practices what he preaches. I speak from experience as I count Bryan Loritts as one of my most cherished friends. And here's the truth: what you hold in your hands can transform your life. But let me warn you, this isn't the kind of book you read once and cross off the list. No, this book will bore into your very being and invite you into the depth of what true biblical friendship looks like. Loritts leverages the New Testament book of Philemon as his resource to challenge you to be a better friend. So buckle up and get ready to read the best book I've ever read on friendship."

Bobby Conway, author, pastor, and radio host

"So much of friendship today is conditional and about convenience. Because it's guided by a fresh look at the New Testament and illustrated by his own raw friendship journeys, Bryan Loritts's book offers a compelling vision of friendship that's both attainable and worth sacrificing for."

Kara Powell, professor of youth and family ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary and coauthor of Faith Beyond Youth Group

"Bryan Loritts is an expert communicator. I have known Bryan for years, colabored with him, and been changed by his teaching. I believe the biblical insights shared in Enduring Friendship may be the most challenging, anointed, and transformative he's ever produced, and I have been waiting with great expectation for how the Lord will use this for his glory in his kingdom. This is the greatest work on reconciliation from a biblical worldview I have ever read!"

Vance Pitman, president of the Send Network and founding pastor of Hope Church Las Vegas

"One of my deepest desires is for real, engaging, lifelong friendship. Bryan Loritts once again provides the church with a timely book on a neglected subject of critical importance, written in his characteristically engaging, easy, entertaining-while-challenging way. We know what a marriage commitment looks like—what commitment does friendship desire? Bryan shows us how deeply we all yearn for this and how we can go from 'I will' at the beginning to 'I did' at the end of our days. I've seen Bryan up close enough to see how he lives these things out. This is a book that every Christian should read, implement, and pass on."

J.D. Greear, pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

"Enduring Friendship shatters the myth that friendship is little more than a casual relationship. Using his own experience and the apostle Paul's letter to Philemon as his framework, Bryan Loritts shows that friendships have the potential to enhance our gospel witness to the world as they demonstrate truth, repentance, and grace. At a time when true friendships are being replaced by shallow connections, the world needs this book. I need this book!"

Stan Jantz, chief executive officer of the Come and See Foundation

"In a world where we are seemingly more connected than ever, our personal relationships can often feel shallow and distant without deliberate attention and willing vulnerability. Bryan Loritts identifies the importance of deep and abiding friendship, and he tells us why it is worth the intentional effort to invest in the lives of others. Enduring Friendship is a wonderful encouragement to pursue God's good gift of human connection."

Amy Whitfield, executive director of communications for the Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Read an Excerpt


Foreword by John Mark Comer
Introduction: From "I Will" to "I Did"

1. Why Friendships Are So Hard
2. Cultivating Friendship

Part One: Truth
3. Halos and Horns
4. Risky Truth: Facing Up to the Beast
5. The Problem with Winning

Part Two: Repentance
6. The Long Walk Back to Colossae
7. Excuses
8. The Calvary Way

Part Three: Grace
9. Hesed
10. The Fulcrum of Grace
11. Useless to Useful
12. What If?



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Bryan Lorritts

Bryan C. Loritts (DMin, Liberty University) is teaching pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina. He has dedicated his life and ministry to seeing the multiethnic church become the new normal in our society. He is also vice president for regions for the Send Network, the church planting arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, where he is responsible for training church planters in multiethnic church planting. He has been a featured speaker at the Global Leadership Summit and Catalyst. His books include Insider Outsider, The Dad Difference, and The Offensive Church.