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Activist Faith: From Him and For Him Kindle Edition
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Here's the thing I love best about this book:
This isn't about a couple "important" people making their voices heard and making things happen. It's about every single man and woman who sits in a church pew on Sunday mornings (and several who don't) doing something awesome in response to the amazing gift we've been given (Dan King, from the introduction).
In a season of folks "liking" a Facebook page and considering that an important step forward, we all need this reminder.
Because the truth is, we can tweet for an end to starvation all day long, but it won't fill a single belly.
This trio means to grow a movement. They want their lives to count beyond the circle of their own family and friends. They want to serve.
The book is organized into chapters, each addressing a different issue: Human trafficking, immigration, poverty, environmentalism, disaster response, homelessness, abortion, war/terror/genocide, religious persecution, family instability, prison reform, and orphans.
Which of those topics made your heart jump?
Each chapter, written by one of the three authors, includes a selection of scripture related to the topic, a survey of the current situation today and concludes with questions for reflection or discussion (Think it Through), tools and resources, and action steps. For example, in the chapter on emergency response, Dan King reminds us to give the help that's needed, not what makes you feel good about yourself.
So simple. So true. And sadly, so often overlooked.
I don't see sugarcoating in this book. That's important. In the chapter about orphans, for instance, the author (Dan King) does not shrink from discussing the complexities of adoption and the controversies that have drawn such attention lately, such as adoption separating intact families and child trafficking.
The key point of this book is that you don't have to move to Calcutta to serve and show Christ's love. Turning again to the adoption chapter, resources for action range from international adoption agencies to organizations supporting in-country adoption abroad, child sponsorship agencies, foster care, domestic adoption, mentoring, and supporting adoptive parents. Everyone can do one of those things. Everyone.
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.
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