Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: Justifiably a Good Book

     On behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing, BookSneeze provided a complimentary copy of Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live & Die for Bigger Things in exchange for a book review. Pastor Ken Wytsma of Antioch Church along with D. R. Jacobsen are on a mission to encourage others to restore the peace God intended from the beginning. Since the fall of mankind, the earth has suffered from injustice of many kinds, from starvation to genocide, gender violence to school bullying. We, as the image bearers of Christ, are called to seek out the restoration of His peace and more precisely, shalom. It is a holistic perspective and approach that seeks justice and tend to the needs of the world.
     Short-term care and long-term solutions are incorporated to compassionately care for the widow, orphan and destitute. Out of a love for Christ believers should love what God loves, extending care, love and empathy along the way. Wytsma encourages the reader to ask themselves what are they willing to lay their lives down for and to begin where they are at. It is with empathy and passion justice can be restored. It is with an emotional disconnect and fear that people tend to let opportunities pass them by. We are given this life to make a differnce.  In Pursuing Justice, God's justice and our hand in it is not an option. It is a duty and privilege to care for His creation.
     Out of the hundreds of books I have read only a handful or so stand out in my mind with the passing of time as truly monumental volumes. Only some books have had pages that stick. I have a strong premonition that Pursuing Justice will be among those included in this elite group for the breadth and depth of it pierced my heart. The questions posed are not always easy to answer. Some answers I am still searching for. I was fully intrigued and engaged from the get-go. Between Mr. Wytsma's personal evolution and the accounts of others I closed this book knowing I must be a part of something bigger. Although we cannot fix the world by ourselves, we can change it for the good of some. God never called us to walk alone, but along side one another, holding the hands of the down-trodden and building up His kingdom.
     It is in the pursuit of justice the author has assured the reader they will find themselves. Joy will be the ends, while seeking justice is to be our means. I appreciated the fact I am not told exactly what I must do; that would tend to be Pharisaical and would simply add worldly weight. Seeking to restore justice looks as different as each individual, yet it is all for the common purpose of mankind. Even if our tasks vary, the common thread of justice will bind us together.
     Pursuing Justice is not a volume for the light-hearted. It is a read that will enlighten and possibly, guide you to greater things. In about 300 pages one can gain a sense of direction and a better understanding of God's justice. Often I hear believers say what a just God we have, but how many I wonder know well what that justice looks like. We were created "to live and die for greater things," may Pursuing Justice lead you there.


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