Sustaining a Passion for Justice
This week, TCF staff members enjoyed a sneak peek at the new book The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson. This opportunity included an insightful Q&A with the authors at a gathering sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
In their book, the authors intentionally work to connect justice to the heart and character of God, and show how such a connection gives hope and lays the framework for tangible practices to help believers grow their passion for justice.
The authors note, however, that like many things born out of passion, it can be a challenge to move a fervor for justice to something sustainable in our Christian walk. The Justice Calling, therefore, gives guidance for grounding this passion in the spiritual practices of lament and Sabbath rest, and invites readers to engage with key biblical concepts such as righteousness, flourishing, and sanctification. The book also contains an especially riveting section on being saints and not heroes.
The authors invite us to change questions of justice from, “What can we do about immigration, poverty, human trafficking, caring for creation, etc. within our church?” to “What would it look like for our church to flourish in the midst of engaging these issues?” This subtle shift in framing invites believers to integrate the work of justice into the fabric of their church versus treating it as something separate, outside the normal currents of the community.
The Justice Calling also reiterates that the church is designed to be a place of deep formation that sends people out. The role of the church is not merely to receive spiritual information, network, send, and equip, but to imaginatively form us. Our work here at The Colossian Forum is based on a similar vision and we are grateful for the way this book invites us to renew that call.
As we begin this season of Lent, you might consider traveling with this book over the next 40 days. We believe it could be transformative for you and your community as you consider how to live into the Lord’s call for justice.
A reader’s guide for the book is also available providing more insights and helpful questions for each chapter.