catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 14 :: 2008.07.11 — 2008.07.25


Reading for a global perspective

Editor’s Note: This resource list appears along with many other justice-related essays, photographs, lists and more in Do Justice: A Social Justice Road Map.


Click on the following links to view recommended books in each area:

Visit Hearts & Minds Books online to order these and many other resources and check out the BookNotes Blog.  Mention *culture is not optional to donate 10% of your purchase back to *cino.


Shaping a justice-seeking Christian worldview

  • Taking Discipleship Seriously: A Radical, Biblical Approach
    by Tom Sine (Judson Press)
    A brief and easy to read Biblical study which invites us to dream
    God’s dreams, to envision God’s hopes for His earth, and what
    it may be to follow Jesus more faithfully.  Very helpful.

  • Living Justice: Revolutionary Compassion in a Broken World
    by Jon Middendorf and Jamie Gates(Barefoot)
    One of the most basic and brief introductions to social justice from
    a solidly evangelical perspective.  We note this not only because it
    is readable and brief, but because it is very inspiring, compelling readers
    to deeper thinking and serious involvement.

  • Covenant to Keep: Meditations on the Biblical Theme of Justice
    by James Skillen (Center for Public Justice)
    A powerful set of Biblical meditations, exploring various ways in
    which God’s covenant with the creation unfolds guided by principle of
    justice.  There are scattered throughout helpful testimonials and case
    studies of ordinary folks who work for justice, but this is mostly a fabulous
    introduction to thinking Biblically about public justice.  Excellent.

  • The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian Worldview
    by Brian J. Walsh and Richard Middleton (IVP)
    A broad, sweeping study of the rise of dualism and the subsequent
    secularization of Western culture.  Still the most important book written
    about worldviews, how they work, and the important ways in which economic
    growth, scientism, and injustice were embedded in the structures of contemporary
    modern culture.  A plea for the development of the Christian mind, in
    community, in service.  Very, very important.

  • Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire
    by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat (IVP
    A provocative and feisty case study of how a profound, postmodern
    and culturally subversive reading of a New Testament book could equip us to
    engage the culture more faithfully, and resist the idols of progress, technology,
    militarism and environmental violence.  Extraordinary;  be prepared
    to think, and live in new ways…

  • Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution
    of Hope

    by Brian McLaren  (Nelson)
    What are the most urgent matters in our world, and what might Jesus
    think of them?  How does the framing story of Western culture (and the
    subsequent mis-readings of Jesus’ work) shape our approach to these
    key contemporary issues?  Fascinating and hopeful.

  • American Cultural Baggage: How to Recognize and Deal With It
    by Stan Nussbaum (Orbis)
    This is a fun book, clear and practical; it unpacks common assumptions
    within the Western worldview, (including those found in common sayings and
    proverbs) and how they might be offensive in other countries.  Very useful.

  • The Kings Go Marching in: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem
    by Richard Mouw (Eerdmans)
    One of the best brief Bible studies on a wholistic view of Christian
    cultural engagement, based on the teaching that this Earth will someday be
    restored into God’s new creation.  Mouw is careful about unhelpful
    speculation, but draws wise implications from the Bible’s call to multi-cultural
    reconciliation and political justice.  Highly recommended.

  • Evangelicals in the Public Square: Four Formative Voices on
    Political Thought and Action

    by J. Budziszewski  (Baker Publishing Group)
    This splendid overview offers four schools of thought and distinctive
    ways in which evangelicals have been involved with social renewal and public
    reformation.  Included are advocates of each view, summarizing the approach
    of Carl Henry, Francis Schaeffer, Abraham Kuyper, and John Howard Yoder.  Very,
    very helpful for anyone committed to social action.

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Christian engagement with global justice and international poverty

  • The New Friars: The Emerging Movement Serving the World’s

    by Scott Bessenecker (IVP)
    Inspiring stories of younger Christians working in the developing
    world, serving the poor, making a difference.

  • Good News About Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting

    by Gary Haugen (IVP)
    This books has catapulted a new generation into global concerns,
    using sexual trafficking and child slavery as one window into public justice,
    international issues and Christian vision to make a difference. 

  • Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger
    by Ronald J. Sider  (Nelson)
    Perhaps the most important book in our lifetime about Christians
    and social concerns, a classic that is still as urgent today in it’s
    expanded, updated edition, than it was when it first came out.  By most
    accounts, one of the best introductions to both the Biblical narrative about
    social justice as well as an excellent primer to global concerns.  A

  • Justice, Mercy and Humility: Integral Mission and the Poor
    edited by Tim Chester  (Authentic)
    With contributions from Rene Padilla, Elaine Storkey, and Tom Sine,
    among others, this collection of case studies wonderfully opens our eyes to
    various continents, God’s work in unique settings, and the ways social
    location and political context shapes the doing of wholistic ministry.  An
    excellent reminder to hold together proclamation and demonstration, in community,
    creating practices of mission for and with the oppressed.

  • What Can One Person Do?  Faith to Heal a Broken World
    by Sabina Alkire and Edmund Newell  (Church Publishing)
    The Anglican communion and the U.S. Episcopal Church has invited
    their local congregations to educate and act for the promotion of the United
    Nations Millennial Development goals and this is a handbook on helping that
    happen.  Very practical, guiding readers towards new learnings, actions,
    and options for involvement.

  • The Biblical Jubilee and the Struggle for Life
    by Ross Kinsler and Gloria Kinsler (Orbis)
    These two authors are renowned educators around social justice issues
    and here offer powerful Biblical interpretation and spiritual vision for social
    transformation.  Nearly a manifesto, this is a challenging guide to living
    out the Biblical vision of jubilee justice in personal, church, community,
    and global settings.

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Development, international justice, fighting global poverty

  • Walking With the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational

    by Bryant L. Myers (Orbis)
    Considered by many to be a masterpiece of integrated, Christian thinking,
    this challenges us to follow Christ in ways that are faithful, relevant, compassionate
    and effective.  A must-read.

  • Attacking Poverty in the Developing World: Christian Practitioners
    and Academics in Collaboration

    edited by Judith Dean, Julie Schaffner and Stephen L.S. Smith (Authentic)
    This recent book offers case studies from all over the world, bringing
    together collegiates, professors, activists and ordinary folk to design programs,
    policies and plans to work on development goals.  Very thoughtful stuff,
    making a unique contribution.

  • God of the Empty-Handed: Poverty, Power and the Kingdom of God
    by Jayakumar Christian (World Vision)
    This is a marvelous study of how various assumptions (about poverty,
    for instance) shape different responses, from liberation theology to evangelical
    commitments to simple living, to renewed studies of political empowerment.  Excellent
    Biblical study, theological reflection and social analysis. 

  • Inheriting the Earth: Poor Communities and Environmental Renewal
    edited by Don Brandt (World Vision)
    This collection of essays shows the inter-relationship of various
    environmentally sound practices, case studies of sustainability, and ways
    that anti-poverty and ecological work are complimentary.  A remarkable
    feature of this anthology is that the writers are all involved in small-scale,
    organic programs and speak in detail about their projects.

  • Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global

    by Bob Goudzewaard, Mark Vander Vennen, and David Van Heemst  (Baker)
    One of the most thoughtful and insightful books about the deep ways
    in which global issues are inter-related and how alternative visions—-to
    counter idolatrous ideologies—-are needed to move towards alternative policies
    and practices.  A book which will reward careful readers with Biblical
    wisdom and renewed hope.  Very, very important.

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International trade justice

  • Globalization and the Good
    edited by Peter Heslam  (Eerdmans)
    This collection offers a wide range of perspectives from a variety
    of scholars, activists, politicians, and Christian businesspersons.  Compiled
    with the cooperation of London’s Institute of Contemporary Christianity
    and their “Capitalism Project.”  A very good introduction
    to the various issues, concerns and perspectives.

  • Just Trading: On the Ethics and Economics of International Trade
    by Daniel Finn (Abingdon)
    Perhaps a bit dated, this is still one of the most foundational studies,
    sponsored by The Churches’ Center for Theology and Public Policy on
    a faith-based perspective on the recent debate about trade agreements.

  • Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless
    World of Global Trade

    by Rachel Louise Snyder (Norton)
    From a clever and insightful writer comes a story tracing pants—from
    Bono and his wife, Ali, to fashion designers, to cotton growers, garment workers,
    all over the world.  This details remarkably complicated trade laws,
    tariffs, customs and obstacles seen in the global economy.  Fascinating.

  • Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-led Resistance to Corporate

    by Sharon Delgado (Fortress)
    This recent study is an exceptionally passionate call to resist injustice
    and push back against oppression.  Some might wish for a more balanced
    survey, but this activist makes no apologies for her radical critique…

  • Artisans and Cooperatives: Developing Alternative Trade for
    the Global Economy

    edited by Kimberly Grimes and B. Lynne Milgram (University of Arizona
    Case studies of local economies, “under the radar” trade relationships
    and new visions of the multi-faceted issues surrounding artisan production.  Very
    thoughtful and very important.  

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  • Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives
    by Anthony Giddens (Routledge)
    We note this as it is brief and exceptionally thoughtful, by a world-class
    thinker.  The arguments here are more than economic and seek to show
    how increasing choice, change, tele-communications and growing interdependence
    directly affects our everyday lives.  Very eloquent and penetrating.

  • Globalization: The Human Consequences
    by Zygmunt Bauman (Columbia University Press)
    Again, an extraordinary and thoughtful study of the breakdown of
    boundaries, recent technological developments and the new pace and mobility
    of hyper-modern life.  An important European voice.

  • Globalization At What Price?  Economic Change and Daily

    by Pamela K. Brubaker (Pilgrim Press)
    This newly expanded edition offers passionate explanation about how
    church folk might respond to the sufferings of the poor and the dislocations
    caused by social injustice.  One reviewer said that this is a much-needed
    primer for the overeducated and underinformed.”

  • Globalization, Spirituality, and Justice: Navigating the Path
    to Peace

    by Daniel G. Groody (Orbis)
    Fresh, demanding and hope-filled, this study of Catholic social teaching
    in the global economy is the sort of vibrant book that Walter Brueggemann
    says it “takes your breath away.”

  • Unspeakable: Facing Up To the Challenge of Evil in an Age of
    Genocide and Terror

    by Os Guinness (HarperOne)
    Although not precisely about globalization, this deep and thoughtful
    study of the nature of evil, global injustice, genocide and such is must reading
    for anyone who dares to be responsible in a world such as ours.  Very,
    very important.

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Poverty and economics

  • Grace at the Table: Ending Hunger in God’s World
    by David Beckmann and Arthur Simon (IVP)
    These authors are the current director and the esteemed founder of
    the political advocacy group for Christian citizens called Bread for the World.  This
    may be the best primer on world hunger and the scandal of poverty in print.  Basic
    but informed, thoughtful without being ideological, rooted in deep faith and
    realistic politics.  Excellent.

  • Less Than Two Dollars a Day: A Christian View of World Poverty
    and the Free Market

    by Kent A. Van Till (Eerdmans)
    Although not an introductory book, this is a very helpful study of
    how Christian tradition demands that we work for an economy that yields basic
    sustenance for all as a human right.  Has been called both very readable
    and a tour de force.  Good news for the poor, indeed.

  • The Moral Measure of the Economy
    by Chuck Collins and Mary Wright (Orbis)
    A new book which captures much of the sentiment of a growing movement
    for economic justice based on deep principle of faith.  Highly readable,
    this passionate call to re-think the moral health of any economic system draws
    largely on Catholic social teaching.  Sojourners editor and
    author Jim Wallis has called it “a must-read.”

  • Jubilee Manifesto: a Framework, Agenda and Strategy for Christian
    Social Reform

    edited by Michael Schluter and John Ashcroft (IVP/Jubilee Centre)
    This collection of British social critics offers profound analyses and
    serious proposals for high level change.  Connects theological reflection,
    the socio-politics of Scripture and contemporary social analysis.  Very

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