Tag Archives | justice

Confession and Justice | Kent Annan

Kent AnnanConfession produces freedom and restores right relationships, which releases the river of God’s justice to roll down.

—Annan, Kent. Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World. Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2016, 60.

The Advent of Justice | Sylvia Keesmaat

The cover of Keesmaat's The Advent of JusticeAdvent is often misunderstood in the evangelical world. For years, I saw it as a mere prelude to Christmas. Only recently have I started to search out the depths of the season. Advent is a season of absence, of waiting, of anticipation. In Advent we come face-to-face with the judgment of God before receiving His gospel.

The Hebrew prophets are foundational figures in the season of Advent. More than anyone, they understood the spiritual depravity of their culture and desperately tried to connect their people to the heart of God. In The Advent of Justice, the four authors (Brian J. Walsh, J. Richard Middleton, Mark Vander Vennen, and Sylvia Keesmaat) mine the riches of First Isaiah and offer both critique and hope to our own culture.

While every author had something valuable to add to the season, Brian J. Walsh’s writings for the first week of Advent stuck home the hardest. He tells the truth of the prophet clearly:

The problem is that good news without prophetic critique invariably is a cover-up. Good news that will not openly and honestly confront that which perpetuates brokenness and sin is not good news at all. An Advent without judgment isn’t Advent at all. It is a secular Christmas with a store-bought peace. (15)

These authors bring you face-to-face with judgment which will challenge the way you live. Your Christmas will be the richer for heeding them.

—Sylvia Keesmaat, ed., The Advent of Justice: A Book of Meditations (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014).

God’s Anger | Luciano Lombardi

Luciano LombardiGod’s anger stems from His deep inner love for His creation, and it works toward justice and restoration.

—Luciano Lombardi, A New Humanity: A Walk Through the Letter of Ephesians (Belleville, ON: Guardian Books, 2014), 88.

Poverty and Shalom | Bryant L. Myers

Poverty is the result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not for life, that are not harmonious or enjoyable. Poverty is the absence of shalom in all its meanings.

—Bryant L. Myers, Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development, 86.

The Myth of Righteous Violence | Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

There is no such thing as “righteous” violence, as if brutal actions are somehow transformed by calling them aspects of the struggle for justice. Such manipulation is as offensive in progressive circles as are the more nationalistic versions of justification of violence by using patriotic terms. Both sides only succeed in justifying violence.

—Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, “Daniel” in The New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. VII, 96.

The Irresistible Revolution | Shane Claiborne

Most Christians I know fall into two broad categories. The younger type of Christian (along with the older young-in-the-faith type) tend to be more idealistic and less jaded. The more … let’s call them “mature”, trade a bit of that idealistic fire for a “reasonable” Christian life. I don’t feel like speculating about which camp I fall into.

Claiborne’s a third type of person. He’s as idealistic and visionary as they come, but without rancor. He’s managed to mature in his Kingdom-vision without losing his passion. I hesitated to read this book for a while because I assumed it would lay out some grand call to discipleship that would thoroughly discourage most of the Christians I know. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Irresistible Revolution tells of Claiborne’s own experiments in living faithful to the gospel, along with some of the lessons he’s learned. Instead of prescribing solutions to lukewarm Christendom, he presents a story that’s so attractive you can’t help but want to join in.

One of the best aspects of this book was Claiborne’s humour. Here’s an example. One of the times he was in court for civil disobedience, he called the prosecutor the persecutor by accident. Priceless. In a world that takes itself far too seriously, divine foolishness is one way to get noticed!

Reading Claiborne is like moving from the sin-heavy atmosphere of this world to the rarefied air of the Kingdom of God.

Note: A free review copy of this book was provided by Zondervan.

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