The Justice Project


I’m not a big fan of “essay books.”  I much prefer to consume a book from start to finish, delving into the mindset of the author.  I like to argue with a book’s author – challenging her/his presuppositions, agendas, theology, philosophy, and politics.  I like following an author’s threads and seeing if they remain consistent from start to finish.

 That made reading “The Justice Project” a big challenge.  Brian McLaren is the primary editor for this collection of “essays” for Baker Books.   As I read the book, I forced myself to do an essay every other day – allowing me to live with each article and essayist thoughts.  Then I sat back to explore some of the common threads that McLaren (as editor) sought to communicate through this project.

 McLaren divides the book into several sections.

 1)      The God of Justice – which deals with issues of theology, church history, the challenge of postmodernism and the emerging church.

 2)     The Book of Justice – which address how the Bible deals with issues of justice through the Torah and Hebrew prophetic writings, as well as in the Gospels and Epistles

3)     Justice in the U.S.A. (which looks at justice issues which have been prevalent in theological and philosophical roundtables in the USA)

 4)     A Just World (a global look at the topic)

 5)     A Just Church (exploring ways that the church has/can pursue justice)

 As a whole, the book does a good job of starting a conversation from an “emergent church” perspective about a wide range of justice issues that confront the human family.  Not everyone will agree (especially from the established church) with many of the essayist conclusions.  That should make the conversation more meaningful for those who engage in the discussion in good faith and theological reflection.

The challenge for emergent church folks will be for others to take up the charge, for this book format only allows the surface to be scratch as to the topics and Christian response. 

 This review (and numerous others) is also posted at

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