welcoming justice

December 14, 2009 | Leave a comment

Welcoming Justice is a book about what happens when Christianity works like it should.

Charles Marsh and John Perkins exchange chapters, telling not only their own story, but also their hope for the ongoing work of the church in justice and community. Each man overcame the circumstances and bias of their youth to develop a friendship with the other and a voice against racism. It’s a book that finds redemption out of the ugliness of the past, reshaping it into a hope for what is to come.

A few of the many thoughts that have caused me ongoing reflection:

Most of my students who have left the faith have left not because they read Kant’s critique of the ontological and cosmological arguments for the existence of God, but because they have listened to Christians in hope of hearing beautiful songs and have instead heard something thin and shrill. But the church has beautiful songs to sing. (Marsh)

We’re so impressed by programs and big events that we miss the genius of Jesus’ model. But over the years I’ve noticed that anywhere there’s a little sign of the supernatural, people will find it. You don’t have to advertise it. (Perkins)

It may sound simple, but I think you’ve got to have neighbors you talk to and get to know before you can love your neighbor as yourself. (Perkins)

I wish churches spent more time thinking about how their members could love one another and share a common life by working together as a community. Part of the reason our churches are so individualistic is that we just accept the economic system of our culture without question. (Perkins)

If we take our communities seriously as economic places, we’ll spend more time thinking about creating good work than we spend thinking about more relevant worship styles or bigger church buildings. (Perkins)