I have several human trafficking engagements this month. To prepare for them, I recently completed a reading of Justice Awakening: How You and Your Church Can Help End Human Trafficking by Eddie Byun. Byun references Dr. Timothy Keller when defining the word justice. It means: 1.) treating people well, 2.) giving people what is due them, 3.) righteousness and right living in community or the right use of power, and 4.) care for the vulnerable and poor (27). I love these definitions because they echo the writings of the prophet Isaiah, and because they remind us that justice is something we learn and work at with the help of God.
I love this book because it begins where I like to begin by talking about God’s heart for justice. Good theology first begins with God. I like to challenge readers here to think deeper about what it means to live as a Christian, to follow Christ, and to engage rightly in the world. When I use words like “theology,” I am simply referring to what we know or how we think about God. These conclusions are best drawn from the Bible, and impacts the way we relate to each other and how we take responsibility for the earth we have been charged to steward.
Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live BOLD and FREE
Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Why I picked up this book:
This book was gifted to me by one of my writing buddies and a featured guest on “A Sista’s Journey” blog, author Nicole Unice. Nicole is a counselor, Bible teacher, and Gordon-Conwell grad! I am often on the lookout for quality materials to share with women, so I was happy to receive and review this one.
Who Should Read Brave Enough:
I found Brave Enough quite refreshing. It’s the kind of book that you want to sit down and discuss with good friends over coffee or during a fun meal. It challenges us to confront our fears, flaws, and failures without being overly demanding, condemning, or simplistic. I recommend this book for consideration for women’s ministry, book clubs, personal reflection, or just hanging out in the living room.
I attended the Missio Alliance National Conference, where men and women gathered to consider what it means to be #TrulyHuman. Author Carolyn Custis James introduced the book to that audience and shared her continued hope and vision for men and women living as a blessed alliance of image bearers in the kingdom of God.
Who Should Read Malestrom:
Carolyn typically writes for a female audience, yet this book in particular is an important consideration for men and specifically for male leaders in the church.
What’s In Store for You:
When addressing the dangers of patriarchy and the issues of violence in the world, Carolyn does a cultural and social analysis. From the start, it is helpful for the reader to have a clear definition regarding maelstrom: “The malestrom is the particular ways in which the fall impacts the male of the human species—causing a man to lose himself, his identity and purpose as a man, and above all to lose sight of God’s original vision for his sons.”
In the forward, Dr. Frank James wrote, “The maelstrom produces schizophrenic males.” The author continues, “The malestrom is one of the Enemy’s single most ingenious and successful strategies.”