On the Lived Theology Reading List: Return to Justice

Return to Justice: Six Movements That Reignited Our Contemporary Evangelical Conscience, by Soong-Chan Rah and Gary VanderPolSix Movements That Reignited Our Contemporary Evangelical Conscience

In recent years, evangelicals have demonstrated an increasing interest in biblical social justice, specifically younger generations. A significant yet unsurprising find, this shift is aligned with the historical growth of justice-oriented evangelicals following World War II. In Return to Justice, authors Soong-Chan Rah and Gary VanderPol examine this historical context through the many evangelical figures and ministries pivotal to reaffirming the importance of Biblically-rooted justice within the last century. With passages dedicated to pioneers such as John M. Perkins and World Vision, this publication introduces everyday faces and movements as vessels of justice and helps Christians move forward by way of theological lessons from the past.

PLT Contributor Mae Elise Cannon reviews:

“Compelled by a deep love for the evangelical church in America, Rah and VanderPol recount the history of some of the movement’s most courageous prophets, advocates, and organizations in the church’s quest for a more just world. Return to Justice tells the story of an evangelical history that must not be forgotten. This book examines several influential evangelical movements that have shaped our understanding of service, compassion, and justice, including contributions from the African American and Latino evangelical communities. Return to Justice provides valuable insights that both inspire individual growth and compel us toward an authentic return to God’s heart for justice.”

For more on this book, click here.

Soong-Chan Rah is the Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. Rah is formerly the founding senior pastor of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC), a multi-ethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context. His other publications include Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times (2015) and Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church (2010).

Fellow travelers are scholars, activists, and practitioners that embody the ideals and commitments of the Project on Lived Theology. We admire their work and are grateful to be walking alongside them in the development and dissemination of Lived Theology.

Mae Elise Cannon serves as the senior director of advocacy and outreach for World Vision USA. She is a minister, writer, and academic who cares deeply about God’s heart for the poor and the oppressed. Her publications include Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World (2009) and Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action (2013).

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