The Justice Project
When the editors of Baker Books (joined by Doug Pagit and Tony Jones) asked me to consider editing a collection of chapters on justice, one of the reasons I said yes was the chance to expose more people to some of the wonderful justice-workers I've met in my travels around the world. First, I thought of who my co-editors should be, and immediately I thought of Elisa Shannon Padilla, a tireless justice advocate who works with Kairos based in Argentina, and Ashley Bunting Seeber - not only a brilliant graduate student (in post-colonial studies in the UK), but also a tremendous organizer and project manager.
Then I started thinking of who else should be invited to write ... so that more and more readers in the US and abroad could hear from Native American voices who are so often forgotten, Latino advocates and activists who pursue "mission integral," African Americans with their rich tradition of a justice-integrated gospel, people working among the poorest of the poor in urban slums and rural villages, people working to save ecosystems and the beautiful creatures who live in them. I wanted to be sure people got to know some of the amazing people in my circle of friends - thoughtful scholars and grass-roots practitioners, older and younger, homemakers and agitators, conservative and liberal and otherwise. So ... as you can imagine, this project has been a real joy for me.
Here's how Baker describes the book:
"Justice and the call for change are in the air. Whether it's extreme poverty, human rights, racism, or the Middle East, news outlets bombard us with stories about the need for justice in the world. But how are Christians to respond to these stories and the conditions to which they refer? Here's help. Editors Brian McLaren, Elisa Padilla, and Ashley Bunting Seeber have amassed a collection of over 30 brief chapters by some of the most penetrating thinkers in the justice conversation, including René Padilla, Peggy Campolo, Will and Lisa Samson, Sylvia Keesmaat, Bart Campolo, Lynne Hybels, Tony Jones, and Richard Twiss. Divided into sections, "God of Justice," "Book of Justice," "Justice in the USA," "Just World," and "Just Church," The Justice Project invites readers to deepen their understanding of the pressures our world faces and to take up the challenge of alleviating them. Never has the world been in greater need of Christians who "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God." This resource will help them do just that."
I'm especially hoping that this book will become the basis for lots of small group and classroom dialogue, in person and online, because you don't often get to hear from an assortment of spiritual leaders like these, all gathered together in one place, all sharing the passion of seeking God's kingdom and God's justice "on earth as it is in heaven."
*My share of advance and royalties for this book will go to la red del camino, an important young network for integral mission across Latin America, and emergent village, which resources a growing generative friendship among missional Christian leaders in the U.S.