Book Review : Pursuing Justice

pursueWe hear the word justice thrown around in our world today. Often it is simply presented as a settlement of an offense or crime. It is often seen as a person getting what is coming to them. We have entire state and government agencies that are devoted to justice and making sure that victims find satisfaction and restitution and those guilty of offense answer appropriately for their wrong doing. In his new book, “Pursuing Justice; The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things”, pastor and founder of The Justice Conference Ken Wytsma draws and straight and loud line to the very heart of what matters to God: justice. He writes, “justice – a right and equitable relationship with God and with people – is truly a word worth redeeming.” Wytsma’s purpose for writing this book, in his own words, “is about recovering the full-orbed biblical concept of justice and inviting it back into our lives. When we understand that justice is rooted in the character of God and flows from the heart of God, we can begin to see that it permeates all areas of life. The heart of this book is an encounter with the heart of God, and God’s heart beats with justice.”

This is not a mind-numbing lecture on doing good, nor is it an essay in how to treat people better. Wytsma writes with passion, candor, and knowledge of what it means to actively pursue justice from a biblical perspective. He does not exhaustively list the crimes and atrocities going on around the world. Instead, he makes reference to some examples in order to paint a picture of modern day injustice; the Holocaust, slavery, modern day sex-trafficking, and the ethnic cleansing and genocide carried out in Rwanda and the Congo. Wytsma covers a great deal of ground and subject matter. He does so through scripture, theology, the arts, historical evidence, and personal experience while never speaking over the reader’s head. One of the key questions he ask and answers is why we should seek justice. Wytsma gives three reasons for this: ethical, religious, and personal. Ethically, justice is the “right thing to do”; religiously God has extended us the call to “join Him in doing justice”. Personally, justice brings “peace and joy”.

Although Wytsma’s chapters deal with a myriad of justice-related topics, some that don’t seem to fit (worship, happiness, God’s love). The best chapter, The Anatomy of Apathy, is chapter twelve. Here, he dives into the reasons why justice is so difficult for Christians today. He contrasts the idea of “not doing wrong” vs. “doing right” as a basis for our inactivity. Wytsma challenges the reader to give their life away and be willing to die for bigger things. If you are looking for a challenge to be involved in something later than yourself, look no further. An excellent work.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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