Friday, January 22, 2010
The Justice Project
My book review as a contributor of such for: www.theooze.com .
Increasingly, the voices for social justice in the Christian world are being brought forth and heard. One needs not to look very deep or far to find a book dedicated to the various topics of justice, faith, and what that means for Christians living in the most global of times. The Justice Project is a wonderful addition to this endeavor. Instead of hearing from one author on the topics, the book is comprised of several short essays, done by several different people, leading different walks of life, in different spheres of society, in different countries, but all with the same prophetic passion for justice.
This book tackles subjects such as, God’s call for justice, what it means to have just elections, just ecology, just business, just suburbs, just cities, and so forth. The book really does hit on several key facets of life, and because of this would be relevant to any person who read it.
This book sure did broaden my scope of understating justice, even if I didn’t agree with every single contributor. It made me think about issues and concerns that I would otherwise have been ignorant of. Truth be told, I learned that justice is more complicated and complex than I could have ever imagined.
One critique that I would have of this book is that, while I loved the format of having several short essays by many different writers, the book failed to really dive deep into any one topic. I was often left wishing I just didn’t hear about the core, fundamental aspects of the given topic, but also some in-depth wrestling and fleshing out of them. Having said that, however, I do realize that this perhaps was the goal of the book: to give an overview of justice.
Nevertheless, I feel this book does add a harmonious voice to the emerging issues of justice and faith. We are on the cusp of a radical (re)calibrating of faith, of which I am excited to be a part of. Jenell Williams Paris, professor of sociology and anthropology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania describes this well in her essay, “A Tradition of Justice,” saying, “I was raised in the twentieth-century polarities of social justice versus evangelicalism and evangelicalism versus liberalism. There is much in my heritage I cherish, but I must choose how to make the most of my life and generation. The emergent conversation offers hope for assessing and appropriating reigning, recent, and ancient paradigms and practices in wise ways, creating fresh ways to nourish ourselves and our world. In deconstructing reigning paradigms and pursuing new contextualizations of faith and life, we will by necessity learn from and appropriate practices from Christian brothers and sisters of all times and places. There’s nothing new about Christian concern for justice, but it’s a new day in which we may carry forward the cause.”
Read it. Apply it. Seek justice.