Category Archives: Books
My friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim has a new book, Embracing the Other. I look forward to reading her reflections on how the Holy Spirit inspires and sustains us to work toward healing, reconciliation, and justice among all people, regardless of race or gender.
Originally posted on Grace Ji-Sun Kim:
Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love will be released this Fall 2015 by Eerdmans.
It is book for the Prophetic Christianity Series. Co-editors Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Bruce Ellis Benson, Malinda Elizabeth Berry.
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Anguish grips my soul as events unfold in Gaza.
I am cautiously grateful for the cease-fire announced today. I have prayed for peace; now I pray the negotiations will succeed.
I have called on Congress to act for a ceasefire in Gaza and to pursue a lasting peace in Israel-Palestine.
I have contributed to UNRWA to support their work caring for Palestine refugees in Gaza. There are a number of other agencies responding to the needs of Palestinians and Israelis.
I also read Izzledin Abuelaish’s book, I Shall Not Hate.
On January 16, 2009, Israeli shells hit Abuelaish’s home in the Gaza Strip. The devastating explosions killed three of his daughters and a niece. A Palestinian doctor, Abuelaish writes of his experience and his refusal to turn to hate and revenge. Faced with heartbreak unimaginable, he called for the peoples of the region to talk to each other and to build relations with each other that could serve as the basis for efforts that might lead to a just peace. Abuelaish lives his call.
As bombs and shells fell on Gaza; as rockets struck Israel; as Israeli tanks rolled and Israeli troops marched; as Palestinians emerged from tunnels; Abuelaish’s words carry a powerful poignancy and a deep urgency.
We use hatred and blame to avoid the reality that eventually we need to come together.
Hatred is an illness. It prevents healing and peace.
Peace is humanity; peace is respect; peace is open dialogue. I don’t think of peace as the absence of anything that just puts it in a negative light. Let’s be positive about what peace is–rather than what it is not.
We do not need to merely accept what is happening around us. We all have the potential to be agents of change.
I believe that Einstein was right when he said life is like riding a bicycle: to keep balanced, we must keep moving. I will keep moving, but I need you to join me in this long journey.
I give thanks for Izzeldin Abuelaish and all who keep moving on the long journey to justice and peace in Gaza and Israel and places around the world. I pray for the courage and strength to keep moving with them.
See you along the Trail.
The series features an excerpt from her book that focused on Consumerism and Overconsumption.
Lots of good stuff here. Thanks to Cynthia and Grace for this series!
See you along the Trail.
Here are some teasers that may inspire you to check out the blog and the the book:
One of the problems the Western world is facing today is how to live a life so that all of humanity can flourish and not just a select few wealthy people.
When one looks at the world today, an inescapable fact is the vastly unequal distribution of assets, wealth, affluence, and life prospects. We live in a world where a relatively small number of people, about one-sixth the world’s total population of approximately seven billion people, have a preponderant share of the planet’s wealth and resources, while a significant majority of the remaining six billion lead lives marked by insecurity, poverty, misery, disease, and death.
Today, as capitalism and consumerism drive the modern version of colonization known as globalism, the gap between the haves and have-nots widens beyond anything ever known in history. This unequal distribution of wealth is taking a toll on the fragile planet and ecosystems that we all belong to. What drives the rich to consume all the resources is understood to drive the economy, so many of the rich people’s practices are not challenged or even questioned.
After reflecting on the perils that the drive to consume pose to people and planet alike, Kim presents an alternative vision:
The real wealth of a nation is its people, and the purpose of development is to create an environment for people to enjoy long, healthy, and creative lives. The good life is defined by the use of money to help people have decent, fulfilling lives. The good life is not having “more and more” but “enough” …
Kim addresses the tension within which humans live – a tension between freedom and limits – a tension expressed in Genesis 3. She goes on to explore the human role as a “steward.” She notes that too often humans chose to act, not as the stewards God intends us to be, but as bandits: cue Kurosawa and The Seven Samurai.
The image of the steward intrigues me. Tolkien plays with the question of stewardship in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 1992 – as the United States marked the 500th anniversary of the invasion by or arrival of (depending on one’s point of view) of the Europeans in what we now know as the Americas – I preached a sermon contrasting the role of conquistador with steward. As Kim notes, “It is not easy being God’s stewards, living in a garden where so much more is possible than is beneficial.”
Kim notes the warnings we are receiving about the consequences of our current consumer lifestyle of overconsumption. And she wonders if we will heed the signs and examine and change our ways of “being and living.”
There is much to ponder in the post. There are many topics for conversation. I encourage you to check it out!
See you along the Trail.