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O Christmas Reads


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 7, 2011 in General

The topic of social justice has become a common phrase to throw around in conversations (and we think this is a good thing), but life-changing social justice is more than trendy do-gooder-ism. If you want to dig a little deeper, here’s a list of books we think might help.

Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God’s People (Scott Sabin). OK, call this a little bit of self-promotion, but you should still read it. Written by Plant With Purpose’s Executive Director, Scott Sabin, the book offers compelling stories that explain why we do what we do.

Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty (Scott Todd). A companion to the 58: Initiative, this book makes the bold assertion that extreme poverty can be addressed fully within our lifetimes, supports the assertion with facts, and challenges us to sacrifice in a way that makes a difference now.

When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor (Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert). This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to engage in any kind of ministry that takes you across cultural lines. It’s practical and readable and may very well change your entire paradigm about what it means to do good.

The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus  (Mark Labberton). This one isn’t exactly a feel-good book to read by a cozy fire. Instead of warm-fuzzies, you’ll get a challenge to look inward and consider what it really means to live as the Good Samaritan today.  

Follow Me to Freedom: Leading and Following As An Ordinary Radical   (Shane Claiborne and John M. Perkins). A young activist and a decades-older civil rights leader explore 18 topics such as leadership, justice, and responding to crisis situations. Written as conversations between two friends, it addresses thoughtful ideas in a way that is accessible and encouraging.

The Justice Project (Edited by Brian McLaren, Elisa Padilla, and Ashley Bunting Seeber). This thought-provoking collection of essays offers a broad view of topics such as justice in cities, suburbs, and rural areas; urban poverty; a biblical view of justice; and the church’s involvement in justice.  

Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World (Mae Elise Cannon). This book looks at social justice from a historical perspective and through a biblical framework, leading to a look at the church’s responsibility when it comes to social justice engagement. Topics covered include environmental stewardship, HIV and AIDS, extreme poverty, and microfinance.

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving From Affluence to Generosity (Ron Sider). An oldie but goodie, Sider’s exploration of the complexities of poverty and suggestions for change have been influencing Christians who want to fight against poverty for more than 30 years.

Happy reading!


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