Working in publishing is great, especially when there comes that perfect confluence of author, idea, ministry, cause, and message. This month, Moody Publishers (where I work) has released two books that I am particularly excited about. They are not at all similar to one another except in on thing – both dynamically help people follow Jesus better an encourage them on their way.
The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense out of Life
By Justin Buzzard
This book is savvy, timely, and powerful. It connects so well with the cultural longing, especially among younger adults, to find our place and identity. Justin is a wise observer of culture and a deep thinker on scripture, and his insights and stories pull the two together into a wonderful blend. This book lays the story of scripture over the stories of culture to show just how significant God’s redemptive story really is.
When strangers meet today they often ask not, “What do you do?,” but “What is your story?” Everybody has a story. And everybody on the planet believes some larger story in order to make sense of the smaller story of their life. We want our lives to fit within a larger plot-complete with a sense of history, conflict resolution, forward movement, and future.
So, the better question to ask is, “What sort of story are you in?”
Most people believe false stories that leave them disillusioned, enslaved, and hopeless. Secular stories of chasing success and religious stories of doing good works can both leave us feeling exhausted and empty. Only Christianity, only the old and ongoing story of the Bible, offers a story that’s big enough to make sense of both the beauty and brokenness in our lives and in our world. At the center of this story is a God who disturbs our life in order to set us free.
Gospel Justice: Joining Together to Provide Help & Hope for those Oppressed by Legal Injustice
By Bruce Strom
Before running across this book I had never thought much about one of the main inequities in our legal system: a person who commits a crime is assigned a lawyer but a person who is facing injustice must provide his own. Bruce Strom is a lawyer, and unlike me, resolving this problem is the core of his ministry, Administer Justice. What is unique though, is not that they provide free legal care but that that they see it as the call of the church to do this. So they partner with churches to set up free legal clinics for those who couldn’t otherwise afford it covering all sorts of legal services – family law, tax law, housing, employment, immigration, and more. And they do it all with the express and clear purpose of showing and telling of Jesus heart for the victims of injustice and His saving grace. They have now started a movement called The Gospel Justice Initiative in order to take this free legal care nation wide through churches across the country. It is an amazing ministry to partner with, and the book expresses well the beliefs and heart and calls Christians to participate in justice, not only the poverty alleviation and care for communities, but actual legal justice.