Liberty to the Captives: Our Call to Minister in a Captive World is an inspiring book for any and all Christians who want to learn how to bring hope and redemption to their communities -- for those who are ready to step beyond their comfort zone, leave the status quo behind, and take up Christ's call to minister within a world crying out for the freedom only God can bring. Rich theological insights and extensive personal experience inform longtime pastor and community builder Raymond Rivera's message.
Liberty to the Captives is a book for any Christians who want to learn how to bring hope and redemption to their communities -- for those who are ready to step beyond their comfort zone, leave the status quo behind, and take up Christ's call to minister within a world crying out for the freedom only God can bring. Longtime pastor Raymond Rivera's testimony of a life completely turned around -- from gang member to RCA pastor -- underscores his powerful message.Full of practical advice about how holistic community-based ministry can bring transformation, healing, and liberation from captivity, "Liberty to the Captives" encourages Christians to respond to God's call by ministering wherever God has placed them. Based on over forty-five years of pastoring inner-city churches, Rivera's inspiring vision challenges all Christians to think again about how their faith should lead to social action and defense of society's most vulnerable people.
Raymond Rivera is founder and president of the Bronx-based Latino Pastoral Action Center and a recipient of the 2012 Micah Justice Award from New York Theological Seminary. He has preached, taught, and modeled Christ-centered holistic ministry in various churches and developed numerous parachurch ministries in different parts of New York City.
This book is the culmination of years of experience living out the gospel of liberation in urban settings. . . . Here is Christian discipleship that is deeply integrated with biblical insight, spiritual depth and attention to the public practice of ministry.
Reflects Riveras experiences and insights of nearly five decades of ministry, with a focus on liberation and social justice. In a very personal style of writing, Rivera combined the intellect of the mind and the passion of the heart to draw the attention of readers to the questions of what is wrong with our world.
Midwest Book Review
A strong addition to any Christian devotional and motivational collection, very much recommended.
Jim Wallis (from foreword)
"Ray should be considered an elder statesman in the world of social justice. He has mentored thousands of pastors, activists, and faithful followers for many years -- both directly and indirectly -- and with the publication of Liberty to the Captives, a brand-new generation has the change to benefit from his wisdom and experience."
-- author of Beyond Cheap Grace
"Personal, practical, and prophetic. . . . With sound biblical and theological knowledge and provocative insights, Rivera calls and challenges the church to seek a new level of urban engagement for the shalom of the city."
John M. Perkins
-- author of Let Justice Roll Down
"This book needs to be read as all of us are living in a culture of captivity. Indeed, it is relevant to the church at this moment. Read this book!"
-- Senior Minister Emeritus, Riverside Church
"I pray that progressives will heed Rivera's passionate call to ministry that is biblically inspired, spiritually empowered, and sufficiently holistic in its scope that it will help set all the captives free from shallowness of faith and narrowness of vision."
-- President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
"Liberty to the Captives is an extraordinary gift to the church. Ray Rivera has masterfully woven the biblical narrative with his years of incarnational ministry leadership. . . . Ray's keen insights empower both clergy and laity with the tools to fulfill their prophetic and pastoral call to engage the powers and set the captives free. This is a must-read!"
-- Associate Dean, Alliance Theological Seminary, New York City
"A journey of faith and theological reflection in the making of a man and his mission who is himself immersed in the urban context. Drawing from over four decades of ministerial experience in New York City, Raymond Rivera clearly and succinctly tells his story through the lens of biblical exposition, pastoral imagination, and practical application, which he weaves together to provide the church with a personal compendium for the task of doing ministry in captivity. . . . Anyone called to do ministry to the outcast, impoverished, and disenfranchised of the world (in effect, that's everyone) should read this book."
Elizabeth D. Rios
-- Executive Pastor, Save the Nations Church
"As someone personally influenced and mentored by the life and ministry of Rev. Dr. Ray Rivera, I am excited that he's finally put his urban ministry wisdom on paper for all the world to read. . . . Rev. Ray has given us a book rich in personal narrative, biblical teaching, and practical wisdom with an urgent challenge."
-- author of Masked Africanisms
"Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera has been called by many an intuitive and indigenous theologian, and his book bears witness to that assessment. His work is refreshing, exciting, and very much needed for those who envision a church that is engaged in the real world, particularly in urban centers throughout the United States."
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