Wednesday, June 29, 2016
When I graduated from seminary I had to assemble a professional profile--if you will, and overgrown resume. The profile had to include eight written references. One of mine was written by the president of my seminary. In it he kindly offered up some kind words about my potential as a pastor, but he also wrote this: "John will need to learn, and I am certain he will learn, that patience also is a virtue. He is very anxious--in some ways a laudable quality--to get everything done immediately. Without losing that edge, he needs to learn that there are seasons for certain efforts, and seasons for waiting." In so many ways, President Glick's assessment of my potential, sums up Kent Annan's insightful, helpful book. Without losing the edge, those who seek after peace and justice, need to be patient, for the kingdom of God will come--but it will often seem to be taking a very long time!
Annan's book focuses on five practices Christians (and others) can engage in as they seek to cooperate with God's work: Attention, Confession, Respect, Partnering and Truthing. Each of these, Annan argues, can aid one as he or she attempts to engage in social . "The same love that calls us to work for a more just world," writes Anna, "also calls our inner lives to be shaped by justice. Who we are determines how we act . . . ." (26) Engaging in the practices, Anna contends, can help shape us from the inside out.
Annan uses many examples, some drawn from his own experiences, to illustrate his various points. He does not shy away from negative examples (this is what not to do) but more often he focuses on positive examples, success stories if you will. Always, though, casting them in the light of the "slow kingdom coming."
Anna's website includes some helpful resources and study tools to augment the book. kentannan.com
I am recommending it to the mission committee at my own church. It is that good.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. 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.