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Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World (Bridgeleader Books) Paperback – October 11, 2009
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"People from the Christian tradition who are new to social justice will find treasure here." (Pamela Haines, Friends Journal, April 2010)
"This handbook will help you discover what you can do about challenging societal problems . . . highlighting how Christians and churches can make a difference. Also included are spiritual practices and resources to help us move from immobility to advocacy. . . An essential companion for living justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God." (Youth & Christian Education Leadership, Winter 2010-11)
"Written by Mae Elise Cannon, executive pastor of Hillside Covenant Church in Walnut Creek, CA, Social Justice Handbook provides a comprehensive resource for Christians committed to social justice. Cannon presents biblical rationale for justice and explains a variety of Christian approaches to doing justice. She traces the history of Christians in social engagement and highlights role models and examples from the Great Awakening periods of religious revival to the civil rights movement." (Kathleen Samuelson, CBA Retailers + Resources, November/December 2009)
"Highly recommended, it's more than another review of social issues, but a call to action." (James A. Cox, California Bookwatch, January 2010)
"Cannon helps her reader understand the larger history, ongoing dialogue and definition of justice as it pertains to Christian faith. This book offesr numerous ideas for raising awareness and taking action to bring justice to all." (Peter Moore, Youth Worker Journal, January/February 2010)
"The Social Justice Handbook serves as a veritable global, ecclesial terminal, a launching-off point to the myriad ways that the shalom of Christ has gloriously broken forth in and through his rebellious and needy creation. Mae Cannon does this with the unequivocal passion of one who cares deeply about what the church is called to be. Through the Handbook, Cannon generously offers Christians tangible points of access to taste, and enter into, what God is doing in his world." (Craig Wong, executive director, Grace Urban Ministries, San Francisco, California)
"'The LORD . . . was displeased that there was no justice. . . . He was appalled that there was no one to intervene' (Isaiah 59:15-16). Churches have engaged in evangelism, teaching and compassion for years, while we have sat on the sidelines of justice. Mae moves us . . . from feet that are frozen to walking, from a framework to a path, and from inspiration to hard work and action. This is the most comprehensive and compelling work I've read on justice. This book has the potential to make our churches into the unstoppable forces God intended them to be, with justice for all." (Nancy Ortberg, author of Looking for God: An Unexpected Journey Through Tattoos, Tofu and Pronouns)
"People often ask me for resources on what they can do about injustice in the world. Now I can point them to Mae Cannon's Social Justice Handbook. This guide is packed full of resources and ideas for following the God of justice both at home and around the globe." (Gary A. Haugen, president and CEO, International Justice Mission)
"Jesus was about the justification of souls and justice for every soul and society. The church when at its best has been devoted to both. This is a hands-on book on how to understand issues of justice and tangible ways to pursue it through local churches. Thank you, Mae." (Lon Allison, executive director, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College)
"The moment you open Social Justice Handbook, it will vibrate in your hands with the heart-passion that inspired its making, a passion generated by him who described his life-mission as bringing good news to the poor, release to captives, sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed and the time of God's grace. This book will simply not allow all those great intentions to become lost in theory. It will take you by the hand and lead you step by step into their glorious implementation." (Gilbert Bilezikian, Professor Emeritus, Wheaton College, and a founding leader of Willow Creek Community Church)
"Social Justice Handbook is a long overdue work. Despite the resurgence of interest in justice by many churches, there has been a noticeable lack of available resources on this topic. Mae Cannon gives us the biblical framework that can spur churches to action as well as giving us practical tips and real-life models and examples of how justice can be lived out in our world. For any individual, Christian fellowship or church wanting to grow in the area of biblical social justice, this is the book you want to get."
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The handbook is divided into two main parts. Part one, which includes five chapters, titled "Foundations of Social Justice," is meant to provide a biblical and theological framework for justice, and addresses how individuals and churches can get involved.
Chapter one, "God's Heart for Justice," is a broad view of the theological foundation for social justice. Chapter two focuses on definitions and questions about social justice. Chapter three, provides a history of Christian social justice in the United States. Chapter four addresses the process people must embark on to allow their hearts to be opened and broken toward those who are most affected by injustice and oppression. And chapter five focuses on the roles individuals, church, community and government can play in advocating social justice.
While each of the chapters are excellent, my favorite is chapter four. In it Cannon shares a very helpful process of moving people from apathy to advocacy, that I believe has broad implications for ministry. She writes:
"Though social justice cannot be simplified to a step-by-step program, I have identified nine components to be consistently helpful in the movement from apathy to advocacy: prayer, awareness, lament, repentance, partnership and community, sacrifice, advocacy, evangelism, and celebration. Sometimes these elements happen in a linear progression, sometimes they happen simultaneously, and at other times they are cyclical. In any case, they are part of the ongoing process of personal transformation and spiritual growth toward Christlikeness."
Part two, "Social Justice Issues," is arranged alphabetically and includes more than eighty justice "topics." This section of the book is designed to be both a reference guide and a reflective tool. Cannon has included multiple ministry profiles, spiritual reflection and awareness exercises, and simple (not easy) action steps. Lastly, the book includes a wonderful set of appendixes, that include organizations, books and movies that deal with a variety of justice issues.
I appreciate the words of Gilbert Bilezikian as he sums up his recommendation of this resource: "The moment you open Social Justice Handbook, it will vibrate in your hands with the heart-passion that inspired its making, a passion generated by him who described his life-mission as bringing good news to the poor, release to captives, sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed and the time of God's grace."
It shows relevance and a in-depth insight in helping the poor. If you have a passion for helping others, please purchase this handbook.
A GREAT resource and a must have for any library. (This is just my personal opinion).
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