Wednesday, October 15

Pursuing Justice by Ken Wytsma with D.R. Jacobsen



These days it seems that everything needs to be politicized. If democrats are for something you can reasonable guess that republicans will be against it, and vice versa. One of the things that has become politicized recently is that of justice. But is the common portrayal of justice by either political party a good one? Ken Wytsma, writing with D.R. Jacobsen, seeks to show what he believes true Biblical justice looks like. In his vision it’s not a liberal or a conservative issue. It’s a human issue, one deeply vital to our world.

 For Ken, justice is a part of God’s plan for us. If we are not seeking out justice, then we are failing to follow a part of God’s commands. Through the books he references scripture to back up his view, such as Luke 4:18 or Psalm 9:16.


After establishing why justice should be important to Christians, Ken goes on to detail different types of justice than can be done, and how we sometimes get it right and how we also get it wrong. In one section Ken looks at short term mission trips. While he thinks that short term mission trips can often be good, he also seen instances where these trips have resulted in more harm than good. In some cases these short term missionaries end up performing labor that locals would’ve otherwise been paid to do. Though they may go in with the best of intentions, they may have inadvertently caused a worker to miss a week’s worth of wages. In some countries this could be the difference between eating and going hungry.

One section I found particularly fascinating was chapter 16, subtitled “How Justice Surfaces the Need for Grace.” In this chapter Ken shows how we can unwittingly contribute to injustice in the world. He uses the children’s rhyme ‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe.’ To most of us this is a harmless limerick. However, it originates from slave owners as they picked sex slaves and from American slave owners in the 1800’s who used a racist term for African-Americans that has since been replaced with ‘tiger.’

Once I started this book I didn’t want to put it down. Ken and D.R. Jacobsen have written an engaging and thought provoking book. I would particularly recommend it to churches who plan on participating in short term mission trips or who are looking for ways to better serve their community. Justice is an issue bigger than politics, and I think this book can help people begin to see beyond the usual talking points.

5/5 Stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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