Just Imagine is a call to action.
Imagine the world-changers. Imagine you are one of them. Imagine that from this moment you are passionately committed to living a life that would help create the world as God wants it. Just imagine . . .
Just Imagine is a call to action. The authors, both Christians and active proponents of social justice, remind us of the world-changers who shaped our Christian heritage and equipped us with the tools we need to follow in their footsteps. Just Imagine is a thorough exploration of the biblical and Christian foundations of social justice, and a practical guide to applying them in our lives, in our local and ultimately in our global communities. Filled with inspiring examples, stimulating advice and helpful resources, Just Imagine encourages us to live out the dream of God’s just world in our waking lives, and help it to become a reality.
Abridged review by Jo Regan for Sophia Network
‘Strickland and Roberts’ book Just: Imagine the Social Justice Agenda is excellent. Designed to be read as part of a group discussion, although also appreciated by the lone reader, it tackles the social justice agenda well and provokes some challenging questions. The central question, which is part of the theme throughout the book, comes from Micah 6:8: ‘What does the Lord require of you?’ Strickland and Campbell define social justice as: ‘The idea that the world and everyone in it can live equal, safe and dignified lives.’ It is their belief the world was created equal by God but sin got in the way resulting in a broken world and that it is our job to make it whole again by choosing justice. They go on to say that social justice involves partnering with Jesus in the redemption of the world.
The book is divided into three sections containing chapters on various subjects, excerpts of speeches and articles intended to aid discussion, together with a concluding prayer. The first section, ‘Foundations of Justice,’ looks at the biblical foundations for social justice reminding us, as the Biblical prophets did, that God is offended by injustice. Because of this he sent his son, Jesus, to proclaim justice to the poor (Lk 4:18) and to the Gentiles (Mt 12:18-21). As Christians we are called to minister with him (Mt 25:31-46) by proclaiming the gospel. The section then looks at the work of Elizabeth Fry and William Booth as historical examples of action taken in the name of social justice. Section two, ‘Acting Justly’, looks at the ‘global community’ and the question of ‘who is our neighbour?’, reminding us that social justice is not just about the needs of our own community but also those of the whole planet. For me this is the best section in the book and helps us to reflect on some important questions such as: What about human sex trafficking? What about the rights of women? What are the solutions to extreme poverty? Finally, section three, ‘Let Justice Roll’, looks at examples in history such as Wilberforce and asks us to dream dreams about a better world, daring us to believe that changing the world is not impossible. It goes on to ask where the prophetic voice to inspire, lead, and encourage us to action has gone and what our political response to social justice should be. Should the church play a role in the political debate? We are left to wonder what we should be doing in the area of social justice and how this affects the way we do mission in our churches.
I would particularly encourage all those in leadership to read this book with an open mind, and to listen to what God is saying through it. For me Just: Imagine the Social Justice Agenda is a prophetic book calling out to Christians to understand why social justice is so important and encouraging us all do something about it. The authors’ passion for Christ and the social justice agenda are clear. If you want to challenge your church or youth group in this area then this book is for you and comes highly recommended. But be warne
Canadian-born Danielle is a Major in the Salvation Army. She is passionate about the kingdom coming on earth. She’s involved in many different initiatives from local justice campaigns to writing books, teaching courses and church-planting.