Would you rather be safe or brave? Do you want to have a life that is successful or a life that is significant? Gary Haugen challenges Christians with these questions in Just Courage.
Gary Haugen is the founder of International Justice Mission, an organization that defends those who cannot defend themselves against injustice around the world—slaves, women and children imprisoned in brothels, the dispossessed, and the attacked.
Haugen sees a generation of Western Christians who are bored and dissatisfied with their Christian experience. Rejecting yesteryear’s pietism, they want something more. But they don’t know what that “more” is or how to reach it.
The author explains that “more” is found in following Jesus, and that it “is about loving people in need” (p. 116). Drawing on Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 58:10-11, and similar passages, Haugen defines justice from a biblical perspective, rejecting the popular Marxist redistributionist theory. Haugen notes that we can understand justice by looking at it its inverse, injustice, which is “the abuse of power—abusing power by taking from others the good things that God intended for them, namely, their life, liberty, dignity, or the fruits of their love or their labor” (p. 46).
Using examples of those who have followed Jesus in the fight for biblical justice in the past, those who are fighting injustice today, and the needs of victims, Haugen asserts that Christians can find significance in their lives as they join with Jesus in loving needy people. Though he presents the philosophical and theological arguments for promoting justice, this is not a dry theological tome. Rather it is an engaging, lively discussion based on the teachings of Jesus to inspire readers to venture outside their spiritual cul-de-sac into a world of pain and to make a difference.
Some groups will reject Haugen’s argument. Those who reject the teachings of Jesus as being relevant in this dispensation, will dismiss it. Those who embrace pietism will turn their backs on it, and those who want to look good in the world’s eyes will disdain it.
For those seeking “more” Christ, more meaning, in their Christian walk, Just Courage may hold the key for which they are searching. His appendices offer ways to partner with International Justice Mission, a list of other organizations involved in the issues of justice, and serious questions for reflection. – Debbie W. Wilson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"There must be more to the Christian life than this--more than church each Sunday and waving to my neighbors and giving some clothes to Goodwill when I go through my closet each spring."
These aren't bad things, of course. But they're safe and comfortable and easy. And there's a reason they're not satisfying your desire for something more significant and meaningful--we're created by God for adventure.
International Justice Mission president Gary Haugen has found that engaging in the fight for justice is the most deeply satisfying way of life. This book shows how we too can be a part of God's great expedition.