Archive for the tag “Kingdom justice”

Review: Journey into Justice

Über-kind words from our friend Melissa Deming, reviewing Journey into Justice:

melissa[This book] isn’t just for people interested in justice ministries, nor is it solely for those who love missions. Journey into Justice is for all believers who desire to see God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. … The book connects the dots between the gospel and true biblical justice. So, if you’ve ever wondered what social ministries have to do with spiritual realities, you need this book!

[Journey into Justice] is truly a biblical theology of justice, tracing the larger theme of justice throughout the Scriptures beginning with God’s first kingdom in Genesis and culminating in his new kingdom in Revelation. Above all, social justice is about God’s kingdom and his original intent for the people living in it. The book offers full and accessible definitions of popular terms – mercy, justice, repentance, transformation, faith, etc. He carefully roots these concepts in the full context of the biblical story.

This book is about redemptive relationships – with God and with others – as Jesus’ disciples walk in his ways and multiply themselves. Each chapter offers real-life stories of the transformation that comes from God’s justice and the people who pursue it. So, Journey into Justice isn’t a book to brow-beat you into adding another item to your “spiritual check-list.” It’s a book to challenge you to return to the King.

Read the full review by clicking here. If you are a mother who wants to maximize the Mission in her life and family, you should be following Melissa at her excellent blog, hiveresources.com! She’s also the author of Daughters of the King – a 10-week Bible study that helps women find their place in the biblical story.

Four convictions about Kingdom justice

Let me preface this by saying that ‘we’ means “me and the horse I rode in on.” Pretty much everything I write says more about me and my history and journey than it says about anyone else. That’s especially true when I’m trying to correct what I see as misunderstandings in the Church.

Having said that, four convictions about Kingdom justice have been growing in my heart:

— Recovering the Gospel. We have made some great progress in refocusing people away from programs and onto the simple Gospel, but we still have a long way to go. Too many of us don’t understand that salvation is more than spiritual rebirth. Our people don’t adequately understand that salvation includes growing in maturity. They see the abundant life of walking in God’s path as somehow an add-on. Discipleship comes after salvation, instead of being part of it. If we want people to understand the importance of doing justice, we need to help them see salvation more broadly, as the redemption of souls in captivity, as whole-life transformation. Salvation is journey and destination, as well as the metanoia moment.

— Local focus, near and far. The problems are big and complex, and our tendency is to look for big solutions … or think we’re too small to make a difference. We give influence to people who promise big fixes, who then blame “the other guys” when those big plans are stymied or fail. The truth is, transformation is about communities and neighborhoods. We need big vision focused on a small scale, whether it’s down the street or halfway around the world.

— Redemptive personal relationships. While we will make more progress with a small-scale focus on communities and neighborhoods, transformation is first and foremost a personal, individual experience. We will not see communities transformed apart from the transformation of individuals in that community. Neighborhood change is the multiplication of changed individuals. Doing justice is not fundamentally about program or organization. It’s about one redeemed individual helping another individual find new life and learn how to walk in God’s path.

— Tools to help churches and individuals. The problems people face, as individuals and in community, are complex. While a simple gesture like a box of food communicates God’s love in a powerful way, and while opening my heart to Christ the first time was not complicated, most people’s problems are not easily sorted out and solved. Walking naively into someone’s messy life usually ends in frustration and failure. Churches and individuals need tools to help them assess the range of problems they are confronting, engage in dialogue that identifies the solutions needing to be pursued in each case, and chart a course for development that leads to improvement.

mk

‘The greatest resource for the work of justice here and now’

Crouch Playing GodAn excellent quote on Kingdom justice from Andy Crouch‘s new book, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power:

The Christian hope is not for a gradually improving world any more than it is for a fountain of youth. But Christian hope overcomes the forces of despair and decay in the midst of this world, and provides foretastes of the coming kingdom …. Hope for a life beyond this life, and a world of shalom beyond this world of injustice, is the greatest resource for the work of justice here and now. Christian hope for a world made new is not an alternative to doing justice—it is the most essential resource for it.

You’ll want to check out the excellent insights on “the dynamics of power that either can make human flourishing possible or can destroy the image of God in people.”

via Nathan Finn

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