Good News About Injustice
Accounts of injustice from our own communities and from around the world often leave us feeling outraged and helpless. We wonder what we can possibly do in response. And we wonder where is the God of justice?
Jesus, however, said, "Take heart! I have overcome the world." Gary Haugen sees the truth of Jesus' claim vindicated throughout Scripture, which portrays a God who rises up against injustice.
He also sees this truth in the lives of sometimes little-known Christians who through the years have courageously confronted evil when they saw it. Here he tells stories of these witnesses of hope in a hurting world.
The good news about injustice is that God is against it. God is in the business of using the unlikely to perform the holy, Haugen contends. And in this book he not only offers stories of courageous witnesses past and present, he also calls the body of Christ to action. He offers concrete guidance on the ways and means its members can rise up to seek justice throughout the world.
"Gary Haugen and International Justice Mission have helped ignite an inspiring movement of Christians fighting oppression around the globe. In so doing they have recaptured the spirit of great saints such as Carey and Wilberforce, who saw the gospel as good news both for now and for eternity. Read this book at your peril, and don't be surprised if you get swept up in the sacred cause and one day hear the Master say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'"
"When I read the stories and the successes of God's intervening justice on behalf of the abused and seemingly forgotten children created in his own image, I was aware of both eyes and heart opened afresh to the greatest truth of all--God cares for the forsaken, the abused, the oppressed and those countless numbers denied justice, and he is about making things right. We who believe Holy Scripture know that God will wipe away all tears--in that day. But he is already at work through the passion of those who want to see God's good and fair justice implemented. Gary Haugen's tenth-anniversary edition of Good News About Injustice will break your heart, then will fortify and strengthen it with a desire to see people freed from tyranny and oppression . . . I highly recommend this book. It's a must-read!"
"Gary Haugen brings us more good news in this anniversary edition. Over the last decade, he has been on the frontlines of an inspiring shift in the church--witnessing more and more Christians engage in the work of justice, coming to see it as foundational to their beliefs. This shift means a great deal for the state of our personal faith, but will mean so much more for the millions in dire need of rescue and relief from injustice. Haugen has seen lives changed as a result of the action taken in the name of the God of justice, and his testimony will likely provoke you to question your own inaction. His book pulls no punches about how dark the world can be, but will leave you with hope as it exposes the authentic light of this holy and urgent calling."
"Justice--the life-giving use of power in all relationships--is essential to God's joyful vision for human flourishing. Good News About Injustice points us toward this intention and hope, and motivates us to join God and one another in a passionate and urgent pursuit of this vision. The juggernaut of our own inadequacies on the one hand, and the scale of need on the other, cannot and need not stop us from seeking justice for all our sakes, especially those violently oppressed by unjust people and systems."
"Gary Haugen is a prophetic voice to this generation. We are called to live courageously for the cause of Christ. Good News About Injustice will show you how. Prepare to be convicted, challenged and inspired."
"It's easy when confronted with the suffering of the world to be overwhelmed with guilt, despair and their nasty friend, indifference--but when you hear or read Gary Haugen, something altogether different happens. You're not just inspired, but you're empowered to do something, and that can make all the difference in the world, which, of course, is literally what it's doing."
"How so many of us Bible-loving disciples have missed God's passion for justice that is plain on innumerable pages of Scripture is a tragic mystery. God has used this classic to open the eyes of the blind and to ignite a movement of prayer and action to join him on his mission of releasing the oppressed. Read it and be changed."
"Few books deserve to be called 'life-shaping.' This book warrants that description! Through personal stories, biblical insights, humor and passion it makes God's call for us to 'do justice' accessible, attractive and compelling. You can't sit still or be the same after reading this book. You can't help but want to pray, call out and act. You can't help but embrace doing justice as the everyday, ordinary work of all the people of God."
"Since its original publication a decade ago, IJM President Gary Haugen's Good News About Injustice has awakened the church to God's passion for justice and inspired a new generation to join the battle against slavery and violent oppression and for the human rights of all people. This updated Good News includes casework stories from ten years of IJM's work on the frontlines of violence, injustice and exploitation of the poorest. Like Gary's first edition ten years ago, Good News About Injustice is a clarion call for Christians to share God's heart for justice and to show up where the world needs them most--among those fighting for their lives and the most basic of rights."
"This book is a primer on caring, on following Jesus with our actions. It is a road map to help us navigate a fallen world. When I think about the joy-filled if still uncomfortable journey I have been on in the last several years, the places I've gone and people I've met in an effort to act out a faith I am still trying to understand, I point to this book as the starting place. Will you please read it?"
"Very few books are better after ten years than when they were first published. This is one of them. Its vision has become more relevant, compelling and, most of all, achievable than we ever could have hoped."
"Gary Haugen's great insight is that many of the world's most monstrous injustices, such as child prostitution and slavery, cannot be overcome by relief and development aid alone, no matter how well-intentioned. The first and fundamental requirement, he writes, is justice. "Haugen's great good news is that Christian compassion combined with down-to-earth professional expertise--in investigations and advocacy, case by case--are forcing essential law enforcement reforms, and that more and more Christians are coming forward to help achieve that. "The IJM story is one of courage, success and hope for everyone who cares about the ongoing and unconscionable oppression of the poor."
"People of faith have long been ambassadors for the poor and vulnerable in our world. Gary Haugen is a shining example, having worked on the front lines of injustice for more than a decade giving a voice to those who desperately need an advocate. In this anniversary edition, he updates us with the critical lessons he's learned over these last years, and stands more firmly than ever on his foundational premise: Injustice is a problem that people of faith are specifically called--and empowered--to overcome."
"This book is quickly becoming a classic for folks who have seen the good news, and who have seen the bad news . . . and yet who still believe, in spite of all the ugly things happening in the world, that in the end love wins, life conquers death, grace triumphs over hatred, and the good news is more compelling than the bad."
"In this much-needed and timely piece of work, Gary Haugen promises to provide us with reflections on three primary concerns: 'the injustice of our world, the character of our God, and the opportunity for God's people to make a difference.' He does not disappoint."
"Full of dramatic storytelling and biblical reflection, this book is a strong and level call to transformation and deliberate action in an unjust world on the part of all who claim the name of Christ."
"Good News About Injustice encourages church leaders to teach God's message of justice and to unite and confront oppression wherever they can."
"This is an important book on a neglected topic. . . . Its insightful diagnosis of the nature of injustice and strategies against it may be its strongest point. Its biblical teaching, several success stories, and practical advice give the reader a basis for hope."
"This book is a rich resource for theological reflection on the relationship between Christian faith and social justice. . . . Haugen's clear prose and engaging style makes the book suitable for high school youth groups, undergraduate classes in religion and ethics, and adult discussion groups."
"This is not comfortable, but it is essential reading for us all."
"Gary Haugen tells us stories we need to hear about the injustices in the world, but he also convinces us that God is at work to counter these injustices, and invites us to be part of the struggle."
"I have seen Gary Haugen and the International Justice Mission staff come alongside Christian ministries in various parts of the world and enable those ministries to be God's instruments of justice in the face of severe oppression. The principles in Good News About Injustice are more than good biblical theology. They represent the credo that a group of men and women led by Gary aspire to and stretch themselves out to live by. As you read the stories, yes, and perhaps weep, allow God to quicken your heart for the abused and grant you the courage to live for his justice among the world's poor and oppressed."
"Gary Haugen's splendidly written book is a time bomb. Read it prayerfully and seriously, and sooner or later the combined chemistry of his riveting presentation of both planetary injustices and the imperatives of Scripture will explode within you and catapult you out in new ways to our wounded world. I predict that reading the book and doing nothing about it will be impossible."
"A book of prophetic and vital significance. Gary Haugen has pioneered in a field where Christians should be at the forefront."
"I defy anybody to emerge from exposure to this book unscathed. In fact, my advice to would-be readers is 'Don't! Leave the book alone!'--unless you are willing to be shocked, challenged, persuaded and transformed."
"God has called us to love what he loves and despise what he despises. Gary Haugen and the International Justice Mission have taken this call seriously. They have adopted lives committed to stamping out the injustices of the world. This book has opened my heart to a greater sense of compassion for those victims caught in the grip of severe persecution as well as given me newly directed passion to be a part of God's redemptive work surrounding human injustice. Be careful--the contents of this book will inspire us all to take action. It will change both the reader and the world."
"Good News About Injustice is a biblical, practical and soul-stirring guide for the Church."
"If you like brushing difficult issues under the carpet then don't read this book!"
"The tenth-anniversary edition indicates how enduring and inspirational Haugen's work continues to be for many Christian groups."
Foreword by John Stott
Part 1: Taking up the Challenge
1. The Rage in Rwanda: A Suburban Christian Confronts Genocide
2. Preparing the Mind Spirit Through Scripture
3. Champions of Justice: Three Courageous Christians
Part Two: Hope amid Despair: God's Four Affirmations About Justice
4. Hope in the God of Justice
5. Hope in the God of Compassion
6. Hope in the God of Moral Clarity
7. Hope in the God of Rescue: An Action Plan
Part 3: Real-World Tools for Resucing the Oppressed
8. Answers for Difficult Questions: God Injustice
9. Anatomy of Injustice: Coercion Deception
10. Investigating the Deceptions
11. Intervening for the Victims
12. The Body of Christ in Action: What We All Can Do
Additional Resources for Study Reflection