In recent times, we have seen remarkable progress toward equal rights for all human beings. While the civil rights we have enacted today were largely due to the activism and sacrifice of civil rights leaders almost a generation ago, we know that these efforts would not have been possible without the hand of God. In Welcoming Justice noted activist John Perkins teams with theologian Charles Marsh to show the redemptive hand of God through the ages. Together they demonstrate the importance and impact of the civil rights movement, yet they are careful note that this movement was merely one of many that God has used in the larger pursuit of justice and community. By showing how racial divisions are being reconciled today and by exemplifying communities that are working for peace and justice, Perkins and Marsh reveal how the redemptive hand of God continues today.
It was not that long ago that African Americans and other minorities were excluded from many spheres of American public life. We have seen remarkable progress in recent decades toward Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of beloved community. But this is not only because of the activism and sacrifice of a certain generation of civil rights leaders. It happened because God was on the move. Historian and theologian Charles Marsh partners with veteran activist John Perkins to chronicle God's vision for more equitable and just world. They show how the civil rights movement was one important episode in God's larger movement throughout human history of pursuing justice and beloved community. Perkins reflects on his long ministry and identifies key themes and lessons he has learned, and Marsh highlights the legacy of Perkins's work in American society. Together they show how abandoned places are being restored, divisions are being reconciled, and what individuals and communities are now doing to welcome peace and justice. The God Movement continues yet today. Come, discover your part in the beloved community. There is unfinished work still to do.
Charles Marsh (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is director of the Project on Lived Theology and professor of religious and theological studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several books, including and .
John Perkins, the son of a sharecropper, grew up in Mississippi amid dire poverty and rampant racism. Though he had fled to California after his older brother was murdered by a town marshal, he returned after his conversion to Christ in 1960 to share the gospel with his community. His leadership of civil rights demonstrations earned him repeated harassment, beatings and imprisonment. However, in recent years Perkins has received recognition for his work with seven honorary doctorates from Wheaton College, Gordon College, Huntington College, Geneva College, Spring Arbor College, North Park College and Belhaven College. He continues to speak and teach around the world on issues of racial reconciliation, leadership and community development. Perkins is the founder of Voice of Calvary Ministries in Mendenhall, Mississippi, Harambee Ministries in Pasadena, California, and the Christian Community Development Association. His books include and
"For years, John Perkins and Charles Marsh have been two of our most important figures in the discussion of--and pursuit of--reconciliation. Now, from their passion for justice, their love of the gospel and their friendship with one another, comes this gem, which may be the most important book either of them has written yet."
"Growing up in a Korean American immigrant church context, I did not hear the name John Perkins all that often. Since those early years, I have made a concerted effort to learn as much as possible about the work of one of the most important American Christian voices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This book provides important insights into the life, testimony, theology and ministry of John Perkins. It is both a work of inspiration and a work of history (reflecting the leanings of the dual authors) that must be read by any student or practitioner of social justice ministry. The book provides novices, faithful servants and even the weary laborers the inspiration to persevere in God's kingdom work. John Perkins and Charles Marsh provide for us a view of compassion, mercy and justice ministry that needs to be heeded in the context of a new evangelicalism in North America."
" Welcoming Justice represents the perfect marriage of social justice and scholarly reflection. Far too often, those endeavors are not connected, leaving either effort impoverished. Everyone interested in thoughtful and just social change will find this book richly rewarding."
"The blood that runs through the veins of our nation is a muddy river; its waters are deep with honor and shame, joy and pain, compassion and exploitation. Charles Marsh and John Perkins are incredible navigators in the murky waters of race and reconciliation. To see the past, present and future of 'the dream' of the beloved community through the eyes of Perkins and Marsh is to see a resurrection of hope. These are two men who live out the ideas they speak about with eloquence and beauty. If words are the scaffolding we build our lives on, this book lays a true and elegant foundation."
"For decades John Perkins's footsteps have been leading people out of captivity, like Moses. And Charles Marsh has been tracking those footsteps with the eye of a historian, showing us that this liberation journey is an ancient one, and it ain't over yet . . . It did not end with Moses or with Dr. King, nor will it end with John Perkins. In Welcoming Justice, Perkins and Marsh have created a perfect harmony, a freedom song that will echo with hope through the streets of injustice and the halls of academia, inviting everyone who hears to take a step out of the empire in which we live and to move one step closer to the Promised Land, the beloved community of God."
"Together, Perkins and Marsh are attempting to restore the vision, both conceptually and practically, showing how theology can indeed be lived out in a multicultural society despite its deeply stained past. I know of no better time to attempt such a project, and no team better equipped to accomplish it."
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