Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
About the book:
The ONLY way to find abundant life and happiness is to give your life away.
If God designed us to experience true happiness and abundant life, why do so many Christians feel dissatisfied and purposeless? We try to make our lives better by chasing our own dreams, but that only makes the problem worse. Instead, the path to a just life that’s satisfying and permeated with meaning leads us alongside the orphan, the widow, and the powerless. Using clear evangelical theology and compelling narratives drawn from two decades of global ministry and travel, Ken Wytsma, the founder of The Justice Conference, shows God’s unchanging love for all His children. On the way, the author calls us back to a proper understanding of biblical justice, a redeeming glimpse into the true meaning of righteousness and the remarkable connection between our own joy, the joy of others, and the wondrous Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pursuing Justice shows that God isn’t primarily concerned with personal piety but about empowering His children to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with their creator. The message is as hopeful as it is fresh: when you discover anew the meaning of the Gospel and give your life away, you will find it…and it will be the best life you can imagine.
About the author:
Ken Wytsma is a leader, innovator, and social entrepreneur. He is the president of Kilns College, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He is the founder of The Justice Conference—a yearly international conference that exposes men and women to a wide range of organizations and conversations relating to justice and the biblical call to give our lives away. Ken is also a church planter and the lead pastor at Antioch Church. He and his wife, Tamara, have four daughters.
There are also contributing writers throughout the book, at the interludes: Jeff Johnson, Cathy Warner, Micah Burnes, Alex Davis, Daniel Fan, Lisa Sharon Harper, Tamara Wytsma, Matt Smith, Judith Montgomery, Tom Rowley.
I've had this book since August 2014. It has taken me way too long to finish. It is not because the book is hard, even with its 300+ pages. It has taken so long because it is difficult to step out of a comfort zone. It is easy to live a life with which one is comfortable. This book challenges those who are comfortable to first look at what justice is and then what it requires. And that means stepping out of the comfortable.
I like the book although there are points that I still question. Wytsma has an agenda, as any writer does. He has a driving force behind why he pursues justice as it is spelled out at the start of the book. His father escaped Holland during WWII. It is something personal for Wytsma. But as he points out, this should be personal to Christians, regardless of their own past or present.
Wytsma takes readers along many different paths to come to the meaning and fulfillment of justice, in the Word of God and in the lives of Christians. One thing that I felt all the while was that it was to focus more on the here and now, not just the distant countries. But at the same time, the examples seem to focus more on the other countries. I wonder if that is because that is where it is seen more- the justice worked out by Christians.
I intend to read this book again, with a pencil in hand, because I think there is a lot of good advice and Biblically sound words in it. He does use various translations of the Bible and that bothers me in any book. There is one Bible; there is no need for the many different translations. He points out in chapter 15 that we are to forgive seventy-seven times. Wait, did you read that right? Seventy-seven times? I have never heard it phrased that way. In the KJV, it is "seventy times seven." This is a red flag that points me to the Bible. Everything is to be filtered through the Bible anyway.
But also, what is right? Like I said, I will read this again. It has touched on an area of my life that I think needs to be checked more carefully- as with any work of this kind, pray, read, and pray more.
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