From Publishers Weekly
Award-winning Christian novelist Lisa Samson (Songbird
; Quaker Summer
) and her husband, sociology doctoral student Will Samson, intertwine fiction and nonfiction in this challenging and inspiring book about justice. Lisa Samson's novella features the Marshalls, a suburban family with all the accoutrements: Matt climbs the corporate ladder, Christine cares for their three children, and both are busy with numerous church leadership positions. One day, Matt and Christine visit an inner-city mission, and their ideas about how they should be living gradually but dramatically change. The nonfiction portion of the book examines the issues these characters (and most of the book's readership) face. The Samsons talk about why God cares what we eat, where we live, how much electricity we use and to whom we minister. Astonishingly, the authors manage to do this without hitting a sanctimonious note. On the contrary, they repeatedly highlight the heartbreak and complexity of what they refer to as thinking and living in keeping with God's heartbeat of justice and frequently acknowledge their own struggles and failures. The Samsons include short meditations at the end of each chapter written by a variety of Christian authors, as well as a series of helpful discussion questions at the end. (Aug.)
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From the Inside Flap
EXCERPT FROM CATALOG
Most of us sense some missing element in our lives. Sometimes we are acutely aware of this. We groan with the world and wonder why everything aches so profoundly, why we feel so far from who we know we could be, from the Garden, from God. We suspect the missing element may involve how we live in the world and the impact of our behavior. We suspect the question of whether there is justice in the world relates to choices we have made, are making and will make in the future. But perhaps we have forgotten, or perhaps we never knew, what a life lived justly might look like. The question rarely comes up in regular conversation. So we stumble through life with unanswered, sometimes unvoiced, questions, some x-factor missing from our lives, but we fail to remember, or maybe we just don't know, what that factor is. Or, we realize exactly what's missing but have no idea how to incorporate issues of justice into our lives, particularly in a way that would safeguard us against completely disrupting our everyday existence. We do not like disruptions.