I just finished reading “The Justice Project” edited by Brian McLaren and others. I received the book a few weeks ago from the Ooze Viral Bloggers and it took me a while to work through it because of my schedule over the last few weeks, with work for Veritas, my job at Starbucks, and watching the kids while Kim has been working more hours. So it has taken me some time to get around to blogging about this book.

The book is divided into five sections. The five sections are: The God of Justice, The Book of Justice, Justice in the USA, A Just World, and a Just Church. Each section then is broken down into a number of chapters each written by a different person, each writing about a different aspect of justice.

The first section regarding the God of Justice is all around God’s heart for the needy, the poor, and the oppressed. The second section revolves around how the theme of justice runs throughout all of Scripture, from the prophets, to the Gospels, and the rest of the New Testament. The third section revolves around issues of Justice in the USA, including Racial issues, elections, liberals, conservatives, family values, and border issues. A Just world revolves around issues that are broader than just the USA and includes chapters on becoming just global citizens, business of justice, just ecology, just religion, just cities, justice in the slums, and justice in the suburbs. The final section deals with Justice in the church and includes evangelicals awakening to the justice issue, planting justice churches, parenting and justice, and some other issues.

It was a great read and opened my eyes to some justice issues that I hadn’t thought about before. It also helped formulate some other things that I have been thinking about for awhile. One chapter that stood out to me was the chapter on parenting and justice. I have thought about how can Kim and I parent Kaiden and Trinity in such a way that they have a heart to work for peace and justice in the world. That is alot of the reason that we do service projects at Veritas with whole families, so the kids can realize that they bring a real contribution to the church and the world.

Here are some quotes that stood out to me throughout the book:

“The practice of justice is at the center of God’s purpose for human life. It is so closely related to the worship of the living God as the only ture God that no act of worship is acceptable to him unless it is accompanied by concrete acts of justice on the human level.”

“In The Politics of Jesus, Dr. Obery Hendricks underscores this point by putting the Lord’s Prayer in the political context of Caesar’s empire in order to shed new light on its seditious and subversive nature.”

“Jesus inaugurates God’s realm of justice on and for the earth. His entire life, death and resurrection unveil for all people in all times a true portrait of God’s justice. Justice empowers the wronged by making wrongs right. Jesus’ teaching and ministry shows us waht justice looks like in every dimension of human life- individual, social and economic.”

“Christ’s peaceable kingdom will only materialize in the Americas as emerging Christian communities disrupt the logics of racism, nationalism, materialism, and militarism and form counter-imperial communities of justice and hope.”

Probably the one quote that stood out to me in the entire book was this one, and I end this blog with this one, “Too many Bible readers have been trained, as I was, to approach the biblical text through the priestly lens, not the prophetic one. That is, they look at the priestly theme of personal justification and ignore the prophetic theme of social justice. They’re concerned about pleasing God with personal piety rather than public policy. They are more interested in being blessed than in being a blessing, quicker to bomb their enemies than to love and serve them, more preoccupied with evading justice than with seeking it first.”