Sunday, June 24, 2018

Book Reveiw of Sacred Resistance by Ginger Gaines-Cirelli

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Sacred Resistance: A Practical Guide to Christian Witness and Dissent
by Ginger Gaines-Cirelli
Abingdon Press
Reviewed by Clint Walker

In Christians circles, as a pastor, I am a conservative in my denomination and mainline circles, and I am a liberal in more evangelical circles. I am committed to social justice as an expression of my faith, especially in regard to racial and gender equality. So, when I had a chance to pick up this book I found the title and premise intriguing. Ultimately, however, I was disappointed in what the author said, not because of her position on the issues, but in the way she describes the Christian faith.

Don't get me wrong, I believe standing up and being counted as defenders of persons being oppresesed is part of what Micah 6:8 says to "Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Resistance to power is sometimes necessary as a believer seeking to live the will of God in our lives in an unjust world.

What disturbs me with this book is not the author's stance in relation to the authority of God. This is most evident is the changing of the word "The Kingdom of God" to "Kin-dom" of God. The very language puts human beings as the authority, and the mission the glory of a particular kind of Christian community. The language of "Kin-dom" may remind us to love our neighbor, but it subverts the Great Commandment to that fillial love. A theology that is not grounded in the authority of God, whether one uses the word "kingdom" or the more gender inclusive "reign", is a bankrupt theology, no matter how well intentioned.

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