Sometimes, when injustice in the world feels overwhelming, I think, At least I’m not actively part of the problem. I don’t support modern slavery or racism. I try to read labels and buy sustainably. Is that enough, though? Just because I’m not actually hurting someone, does that mean I’m helping to bring justice to the powerless?
In Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live & Die for Bigger Things, Ken Wytsma calls this thinking the silver rule: “Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you” (184). He argues that we have twisted the Golden Rule to something less – that as long as we are not actively harming anyone, it’s fine. In reality, justice calls us to love, sacrifice, initiate, speak up, and create change (192).
Throughout the book, Wytsma questions Christian apathy toward loving our neighbors and doing justice. He cites many verses in the Bible that call believers to act out their faith – that without clothing the least of these, we are not bringing about Kingdom changes. The main theme of this book is that without living out justice and reconciliation for the most vulnerable, Christians are completely missing the point of Jesus’ message.
Pursuing Justice is a good balance of life stories and practical advice. Wytsma cites examples in the Bible of how justice is commanded and gives actual stories of people living out these commands.
I had only two criticisms: In Chapter 11, Wystma talks about a life-changing book that got him on the path of justice, yet he never shares the title of that book. I looked in the notes, but could find nothing. My other pet peeve was the constant translation of Greek and Hebrew words. Sometimes the translation was helpful, but mostly it was distracting from the message.
I feel like this would be a good book for a wide spectrum of readers. For those who are interested in justice, but don’t know where to begin, Wytsma gives encouragement, resources, and help in getting started. For those who are immersed in justice work, this book would be a good source of what others are doing. Wytsma has years of experience and resources that those in that world would find relatable.
Especially in light of the past few months, when justice seems unattainable, this book gave hope for a world redeemed by justice.
Gardening, Teaching, Protesting, Financial Giving… There are many ways to support justice. How do you actively seek justice? Or, where would you like to begin?
GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of Pursuing Justice. To enter, leave a comment about how you are pursuing justice in your world. I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, October 17, 2014. (United States addresses only.)