Relentless Love: Living Out Integral Mission to Combat Poverty, Injustice and Conflict

This book arrived in the post the other day

Relentless Love: Living Out Integral Mission to Combat Poverty, Injustice and Conflict, ed by Graham Joseph Hill (Langham Global Library / Micah Global, 2020).

The book comes out of the 7th world assembly of Micah Global held in the Philippines.

The development of Micah Global reflects a movement within world evangelicalism towards ‘integral mission’ or a more holistic understanding of the Gospel. One that takes seriously the mission of God’s people to be engaged at the coal face of work against poverty, injustice and conflict.

Where proclaiming the gospel goes alongside demonstrating the gospel.

Much of this book is a combination of research, reports and theological reflection on the praxis of integral mission globally.

Such work is difficult, slow, often dangerous and confronts the powers that profit from poverty, injustice and conflict. Hence the theme of resilience.

No-one said following Jesus was easy.

One of the (many) endorsers of the book is my old friend Darrell Jackson, who is Associate Professor and Director of Research in Whitley College, Melbourne. Here’s what he says:

In these chapters you will find the biblical, theological, and spiritual reimagining that defines personal and collective resilience in the face of these contemporary realities. With heavy hearts, yet renewed energy and continued resolve, this book encourages us to say ‘No!’ to injustice and ‘Yes!’ to God’s shalom!

The table of contents are below. The voices mostly reflect a majority world perspective which matches Christianity’s move ‘southwards’. White European and North American evangelicals often still give the impression that the gravity of global evangelicalism revolves around them and their concerns. While they are are an important voice, they no longer are representative of the global church. The voices in these pages are.

That said there are some European voices and chapters – and two related to Ireland. One by yours truly and one by Father Peter McVerry. It’s an honour to have a chapter in a book like this, alongside many remarkable and brave people passionate about God’s world and God’s justice.

Since this blog is called ‘FaithinIreland’ I’ll look at both the Irish chapters in a couple of subsequent posts. The danger of this is of course that it skews the focus on a rich European nation. So there will be another post giving a sense of the global flavour of the book as well.

Contents

Foreword: Melba Padilla Maggay

Preface: Micah Global 7th Triennial Consultation. Integral Mission and Resilient Communities Address in Poverty, Injustice, and Conflict: Sheryl Haw

  1. Misión Integral: The Challenge of World Christianity: Graham Joseph Hill

Part 1: Resilience, the Church, and Integral Mission

2. Resilience and Integral Mission: David Boan

3. Righteousness, Suffering and Participation in Philippians 3:7–11: Integral Mission and Paul’s Gospel: Andrew Steere

4. Dangerous Resilience? The Institutional Church and Its Systemic Resistance to Change: Thandi Gamedze

5. Poorology:Getting the Seminary into the Slum. Viv Grigg

6. How Do Missionaries Become Resilient?Preliminary Findings from the Resilient Missionary Study: Geoff Whiteman, Emily Edwards, Anna Savelle, and Kristina Whiteman

7. The Gospel and the Future of Cities. A Call to Action. Participants of the Gospel and Future of Cities Summit

Part 2: Resilience, Peace, and Justice

8. Biblical Teachings on Social Justice: Manavala Reuben

9. Addressing Gender and Leadership Gaps in Development-Oriented Organizations: Amy Reynolds and Nikki Toyama-Szeto

10. Deeper Understanding for More Resilience in the Work for Peace and Justice: Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda

11. God’s Preference for the Poor: The Bible and Social Justice in Ireland. Patrick Mitchel

12. Worship and Justice: Spirituality that Embodies and Mobilizes for Justice. Sandra Maria Van Opstal

13. Proclamation and Demonstration: CB Samuel

14. What Is Required?: Florence Muindi

15. Beyond Compassion to Solidarity: Peter McVerry

Part 3: Resilience, Spirituality, and Compassion

16. My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?” The Necessity of Lament for Spiritual Resilience in Contexts of Poverty and Injustice. Clinton Bergsma

17. Building Resilient Communities: The Importance of Integrating Mental Health and Well-Being in Effective Development Thinking and Practice. Becca Allchin, Stephanie Cantrill, and Helen Fernandes

18. Indigenous Voices: The Spiritual Strength of the Peoples of Abya Yala. Jocabed Reina Solano Miselis

19. The Gospel and Resilience in the Pursuit of the Common Good. D. Zac Niringiye

20. Against All Odds – and Ends. Ruth Padilla DeBorst

21. Resilience and Disaster and the Church’s Response. Johannes Reimer

Part 4: Resilience, Mobilization, and Partnerships

22. Building Resilience with Local Churches and Communities. Jané Mackenzie, Chris McDonald, Stanley Enock, and Mari Williams

23. Church and Community Mobilization in Cooperation to Build Resilient Communities in South East Asia. Fennelien Stal, Debora Suparni, Arshinta Soemarsono, and Norman Franklin C. Agustin

24. Lessons from the Frontline of Global Movement-Building. Reflections from Three Years of Tearfund’s Restorative Economy Approach. Naomi Foxwood, Richard Gower, Helen Heather, and Sue Willsher

25. North and South: Boureima Diallo

Part 5: Summaries from the Six Consultation Tracks

26. “Church and Community Resilience” Consultation Track: The Church at the Heart of the Resilient Community. David Boan

27. “Church and Corruption” Consultation Track: Martin Allaby

28. “Formation for Integral Mission (Discipleship)” Consultation Track: Tori Greaves and Ruth Padilla DeBorst, INFEMIT

29. “Urban Shalom” Consultation Track: Joel Kelling and Fiona Kelling

30. “Reconciliation as the Mission of the Church” Consultation Track: Johannes Reimer

31. “Integral Mission and Community Health” Consultation Track: James Pender, Jim Oehrig, and Sara Kandiah

32. Final Remarks: Integral Mission and Community Resilience. Sheryl Haw

Bibliography

About Micah Global

List of Contributors

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