By AT News Team, Jan. 15, 2015: In Australia in late 2014, Signs Publishing released Do Justice: Our Call to Faithful Living, a collection of essays on biblical social ethics and action. More than twenty-five Adventist leaders, academics, activists and professionals from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) contributed the book, including Dwight Nelson, Charles Scriven, Ella Smith Simmons, Lisa Clark Diller, Tim Gillespie, Chris Blake and Ty Gibson. The Pacific Press Publishing Association has now agreed to distribute the book in North America, making it available through the Adventist Book Centers in early 2015.
“Each and every contributor brought things that we would not have come up with if we had simply sat down to write a book on this theme,” shared Nathan Brown, who co-edited the volume with Joanna Darby. “The call to justice is complicated, multifaceted and best responded to in community,” explained Brown, “so we hope the book models that kind of working together to come up with better ideas and real responses.”
Stephen Chavez declared in his positive review of Do Justice for the Adventist Review that the book does not merely seek “to persuade its readers about the correctness of living justly in a complicated world–it is a call to action.” Additionally, “it provides inspiration for marrying truth in belief and practice in ways that enhance our witness.”
“Justice” is a broad topic that can be viewed from many perspectives. Brown described to Adventist Today how the theme is understood in this work: “To borrow someone else’s line, ‘justice’ is how the world ought to be. So ‘doing justice’ as we are called to throughout the Bible—Micah 6:8, as an obvious example—is about working with God and with others to restore the world to all the goodness God intended. He will ultimately re-create, but we act in accord with that promise today. When we prioritize this call, it will change things in our lives, in the lives of those around us in our communities and our world, particularly those who suffer most from injustice, oppression, poverty and inequity.”
ADRA Australia supported the development and initial distribution of the book, and ADRA International president Jonathan Duffy wrote the book’s foreword. Brown clarified, however, that “this is bigger than an ‘ADRA thing,’ something that must be a higher priority in our understanding of what it means to be the people of God in our communities and world.” ADRA, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, is the humanitarian agency of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Brown hopes the collection of essays will contribute “to raising the priority of ‘justice doing’ in all aspects of the life of the church and church members.” “We have a strong biblical and Adventist heritage for this kind of practical faithfulness,” said Brown, “but we need to recognize it more as core to our identify as the people of a justice-loving God (see Psalms 146).” For Brown, successful outcomes of this book would be “as simple and profound as a hungry person being fed, a young person learning to read, a trafficked person rescued or prevented from being trafficked to begin with, advocacy for all of these people in public and political ways, and so much more—all in the name of Jesus, as an enactment of the kingdom of God.” In Brown’s view of Isaiah 58, “this is what revival looks like.”
Do Justice is currently available as a Kindle e-book (link), and the paperback will soon be available in local Adventist Book Centers across North America.