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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Part of the difficulty is our failure to grasp the idea that salvation does not depend upon anything we do. It can't, or it wouldn't be salvation. We don't perform our way to heaven. In a very real way, the whole notion of performance cheapens or trivializes what Jesus did on the cross.
But then St. James comes along like a good Missourian and says "Show me." He's not telling us to perform. What he is saying is that our faith - our living faith - will naturally flow outward. Works is an expression of real faith, and it's not performance where we expect applause. What is it, then? Acts of charity, hope, love, encouragement, healing, teaching, preaching.
"Activist Faith: From Him and For Him" explains how that works. And more than that, Activist Faith provides an array of possibilities for faith to flow outward naturally to helping meet people's needs and in so doing being a witness to them.
Written by Dillon Burroughs, Daniel Darling and Dan King, "Activist Faith" simply and concisely describes12 ways faith can be put to work.
Who was it who fought slavery o extinction in Great Britain? Christians. Who led the way and continues to provide the major impetus for ending human trafficking today? Christians.
Do you care about immigration and border issues, and not only upholding the law but also ministering to the people who often risk everything (legally and illegally) to slip in the United States? "Activist Faith" has some ideas for you.
What about poverty, and those people Jesus said would be with us always? Can their needs be met? Are the poor indeed with us always? Read "Activist Faith."
Interested in breaking the welfare-entitlement mentality? Environmental issues? Disaster relief? Caring for the homeless in the fullest sense of "caring"? Abortion? Or war and genocide? Or religious freedom (do you know about the pastor imprisoned by Iran simply because he refuses to renounces his faith?). Or the family, or problems with prisoners, or orphans?
"Activist Faith" has suggestions, ideas and practical things you can do.
The book is filled with examples of real people doing small (and something large) and extraordinary things. We don't have to be Charles Colsons to make a difference in prisons, and we don't have to be a celebrity to get involved in something that matters. We can do things that express our faith, that say who we are as Christians, and testify whom we stand for.
"Activist Faith" is a practical book, an encouraging book, and a hopeful book. Read it - and find a way to make your faith come alive.
Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world. James 1:27 The Message
How can I claim to be a disciple of Christ and shut my ears to His call?
In their new book Activist Faith, From Him and For Him, Dillon Burroughs, Daniel Darling, and Dan King tackle the tough issues of our time:
Human Trafficking; Immigration; Poverty; Environmentalism; Disaster Relief; Homelessness; Defending the Unborn; War, Terror and Genocide; Religious Freedom; Parenthood and Sexuality: Crime and Urban Decay; the Orphan Crisis.
Using quotes as varied as the Word of God, modern theologians and others, the words hit the mark and convict the spirit. For example:
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." --Dr. Seuss
All three authors share stories of people they have met and lives that have been changed, including their own. I wept through Dan King's telling of a mother in Kenya:
"My biggest question is the same for everyone we meet: "How has the opportunity to run this business with the support of the micro-loans affected you and your family personally?"
She responds simply, "Now I have some extra money to buy things for my kids." She has three young children under the age of ten.
This is a response that I can really relate to! I have a six-year-old son at home. As his dad, I love having a little extra money from time to time so I can buy something special for him, such as a handheld gaming system. But I don't see many kids around there playing on their handheld gaming systems. In most parts of Kenya, the term "handheld gaming system" usually means "a stick." Some of the more fortunate kids I see get to play with an old flat soccer ball.
So I ask her, "What kinds of things do you buy for your kids?" She shrugs a little bit and responds, "You know, meat and bread."
For the first time ever in my life, I am utterly speechless. Here I am thinking of all the luxuries I'm going to shower my son with when I return home, and she just told me that all of her hard work provided her the luxury of buying her kids food!"
Activist Faith does much more than remind us of what God desires. The authors provide examples, resources and effective steps to take with sections in each chapter: How You Can Help;Think It Through; Helpful Tools and Resources - for Research and for Action.
I pray that this book changes each and every one of us. May these ending words burn deep in our spirits:
"As you pray for guidance, consider that Jesus might answer, "I've changed you so you can live out your faith where you currently live, work, and study. Begin right now." Okay, so Jesus did not exactly say it like this in the Gospels, but it's accurate realistic paraphrase. You might not like your job, your major, or your place in life at the moment. God might have some big plans for you in another part of the world someday. Until then, start where you are. That's where He's placed you for the moment. Live with Activist Faith."
Activist Faith isn't just a book, it is a way of life. Be sure to check out the website [...] which is intended to be an ongoing resource to support the movement.
I was privileged to receive an advanced reader copy of this important work by Navpress. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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