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Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World (Bridgeleader Books) Paperback – October 11, 2009
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"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)
"Mae Cannon has done what many would deem impossible: she has developed a solid introduction to social justice rooted in Scripture, she has given churches concrete steps for becoming agents of social justice, and she has provided an amazingly comprehensive overview of justice-related issues that we face in our world today. And she has done so in a clear, readable, accessible style that people in your church will appreciate. Through her work and the work of many others like her, what seemed impossible even a few years ago may be happening soon--thousands of American churches growing beyond an 'it's all about me' spirituality to a more mature identity as communities of integral mission." (Brian McLaren, author of Everything Must Change)
"In her new book, Social Justice Handbook, Mae Elise Cannon provides a comprehensive, historical overview of individuals and organizations that have effectively influenced others to take action on issues of social justice. There should be no question about the role and responsibility of the body of Christ to care for the poor and needy, as over two thousand Scripture references clearly indicate the heart of God and his mandate to us as believers. As well as providing the historical background of many life-changing causes, Cannon lists small steps that we can each take to actively live out our faith in tangible, practical ways as advocates for Christ and his work here on earth." (Dr. Wess Stafford, president and CEO, Compassion International)
"This handbook will help you find your place in God's global work of social justice. . . . I pray that this book will give you ideas for living out God's call on your life in ways that are surprising and unexpected." (from the foreword by John Perkins)
"Social Justice Handbook is more than a manual for public discipleship; it is a comprehensive account of Christian social conviction that reads like an apologetics of the faith. I am in awe of this book!" (Charles Marsh, author of The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today, and professor of religious studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology, University of Virginia)
"Social Justice Handbook is a highly valuable aid to every pastor and church leader. This book tells us how to get started on social justice causes and where to find the groups that support the causes we believe in." (Alvera Mickelsen, writer, editor and educator)
"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." (Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Assistant Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary, and author of The Next Evangelicalism)
"This is a cookbook for plotting goodness and stirring up holy mischief. Take a look and find a recipe for revolution. Then let us take it to the streets--interrupting injustice with grace, surprising the world with joy and whispering God's love to a broken world." (Shane Claiborne, activist, author and lover, www.thesimpleway.org)
"Mae Cannon's passion, compassion and theological strength of calling as an advocate for the 'least of these' leaps off of every page of the Social Justice Handbook. This book informs the average follower of Christ and the Christian leader alike to act as Jesus would in the face of injustice. Mae's call for action convicts us all to do something for Christ's sake. Every Christian needs this book within arm's reach." (Dr. David Anderson, senior pastor, Bridgeway Community Church)
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
How I could have used this book when I returned back from my first Mexico trip in 91..and in 1999 when I started working in the urban pocket of Concord. Many will benefit from its practical side. It is simply too scary for churches to engage without some sort of guide and this book is a comprehensive guide that helps on so many levels.
This book will be a companion for those whose hearts are broken and want to move from feelings into action. Theologically sound and pratical in its approach.
Of greater concern to me, though, was the author's reliance on and referrals to various anti-LGBTQ organizations, such as Focus on the Family. This strikes me as a very dubious resource to consult when seeking to engage in any sort of social justice work or discussion of justice. A fundamental tenet of serving others is respect for and affirmation of the person, and I was very put off by the author's inclusion of and praise for organizations that, in my view, seek to condemn before affirming others. Perhaps the author is trying to straddle the progressive/traditional divide, and make available resources that both conservative and liberal Christians would feel comfortable utilizing, but it really made me doubtful about the book's value as a resource. I'd look elsewhere.
Mae Elise Canon, InterVarsity Press, 2009
How's your heart? That's the question whispered on every page of Mae Cannon's book, Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World. It's a question that gets beyond the regular sorting between liberals or conservative Christians, red ones or blue. By getting to the heart, Mae does more than accomplish her goal of giving practical starting points for being a great neighbor from a biblical foundation; she invites us to search our hearts for God's pulse and leading, and then participate in more of God's fun and joy, each in our own way!
Jesus re-started God's plan to re-form hearts and bring rest to all people, however they were categorized in society. Slave or free, male or female, nationality b or a, included or excluded, sick or healthy; all were included and invited to make the good in this world better with Jesus help. In a tough political and economic time, Jesus publicly repeated the words of Isaiah, inviting all to participate: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:19, Isaiah 61:1-2).
These words challenged and invited followers of God to really worship God, providing the litmus test for life, and remind us again that we authentic worship integrates all of life. "Is not this the kind of fasting (concrete spiritual practice) I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?" (Isaiah 58:6).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is exactly what we need in our efforts to pursue social justice activities.
Practical, and well written.
So much to learn. So much to know. Then so much to do.
So far as learning and knowing go, for example:
*An Iroquois, Donehogawa, as part of the military staff... Read more
Since quite a bit has been written about the content (which, for the record, I found generalized and uninspired) I will focus on the very poor job that was done converting this... Read morePublished on June 16, 2011 by Amazon Customer
If someone told me they were looking for some good resources on social-justice, The Social Justice Handbook is the first book I would recommend. Read morePublished on June 14, 2011 by Brandon Vogt
The book is well researched and well written and just what I was hoping it would be. It covers quite a variety of justice issues and I think it would be a great tool for those who... Read morePublished on May 26, 2011 by Cheryl J Pittluck
This is written by a Willow Creek activist/ pastor to help other concerned Christians express not just compassion but advocacy for more just systems. Read morePublished on May 16, 2011 by Darren Cronshaw
This handbook:"Small Steps for a Better World" by Mae Elise Cannon, is a excellent resource for those interested in making an significant impact in the lives of others. Read morePublished on May 9, 2011 by jesus
Thanks so very much for keeping to your word. The Social Justice handbook was in perfect condition. I appreciate how quickly it took for me to receive it, just in time for my class... Read morePublished on February 11, 2011 by Jennifer L