Return to Justice: Six Movements That Reignited Our Contemporary Evangelical Conscience
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Reclaiming an Evangelical History of Activism. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest by evangelicals in the topic of biblical social justice. Younger evangelicals and millennials, in particular, have shown increased concern for social issues. But the move toward evangelical social justice is not a recent development. Following World War II, a new movement of American evangelicals emerged who gradually increased their efforts on behalf of justice.
This work explains the important historical context for evangelical reengagement with social justice issues. It tells the story of how, in just two generations, Bible-believing Christians came to rediscover what has always been true: justice is close to the heart of God. The authors provide an overview of post-World War II evangelical social justice and compassion ministries, introducing key figures and seminal organizations that propelled the rediscovery of biblical justice. The book explores the historical and theological lessons learned from evangelical history and offers a way forward for contemporary Christians.
"Justice must be central for Christians because it is central to the heart of God. As Soong-Chan Rah and Gary VanderPol write, American evangelicals are rediscovering God's deep concern and Christians' historic activism for justice. Return to Justice is a compelling reminder that those on the margins must be at the center of the church's attention." --Richard Stearns, president, World Vision U.S.; author of 'The Hole in Our Gospel'
"In the lifetime I have spent within the circle called evangelicalism the single-most noteworthy development is not the much-discussed shift toward activism among the political Right in the Reagan years, but rather the much deeper stream flowing now with dramatic force into social justice activism on the part of many evangelicals. The resurgence of concern for justice emerges from deep wells in the evangelical tradition, and the story needs to be told--and in fact has now been told in Return to Justice. While this story reveals some unexamined assumptions or activisms, the commitment to justice in all its forms--some central and some sadly neglected--is inherent to the deep evangelical tradition. Many who write the history of the twentieth century have ignored these deep wells but they are now visible for all to see." --Scot McKnight, author of "Kingdom Conspiracy" and "One.Life"
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