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Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  48 reviews
The ONLY way to find abundant life and happiness is to give your life away.

If God designed us to experience true happiness and abundant life, why do so many Christians feel dissatisfied and purposeless?  We try to make our lives better by chasing our own dreams, but that only makes the problem worse.  Instead, the path to a just life that’s satisfying and permeated with me
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 11th 2013 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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Tim Hoiland
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: justice, faith
When I started researching and writing the article that would become “Serving Justice vs. Saving Souls” for Reject Apathy last year, I decided right away I’d need to interview Ken Wytsma. As the pastor of a church, the president of a college, and the founder of a conference dedicated to helping people think theologically about justice issues, I knew he had an important perspective to share. “Justice makes demands of us in every aspect of our daily existence,” he told me. “It’s something too big ...more
Kyle Unger
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for new and old Christians alike. Phenomenal.
Nathan Albright
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/Thomas Nelson Press in exchange for an honest review.]

This particular book offers a biblical approach to justice as foundational to God’s ways that seeks to bridge the gap between theological liberals who are a part of the social gospel movement and fundamentalists who have tended to focus exclusively on personal morality apart from any larger social concerns. Both of these extremes, apart from the other, represent a classic satanic false
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In a time which, for Americans of all stripes, represents new challenges, "Pursuing Justice" is a call to bring our focus to what truly drives us as Christians. I sincerely encourage anyone - of any faith - to read this wonderful book.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Bible is clear in its mandate for justice, but just what is justice? Law and order? People getting what they deserve? Social equity?

As Christians, we should take our definitions from Scripture, and that's what Wytsma sets out to do in this passage. He creates a biblical case for the essential role of justice in the life of a Christian and then describes it as multifaceted, encompassing many aspects.

I've been in church all my life, and it seems to me that many passages about caring for wido
Sue Schlesman
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wystma knocks his message out of the park with this thoroughly-researched and defended handling of the issue of social justice. His connection of the true gospel with championing the forgotten and abused really hit me hard. I appreciated his distinction between the Golden Rule (what you must do) and the Silver Rule (what you must not ignore doing). I was continually challenged and convicted about how I see justice and the gospel of Christ. It has similarities to Toxic Charity in its revelation o ...more
A.J. Mendoza
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a wonderful recommendation to any layperson. Easy to read, clear in its message, well illustrated and diversly constructed with interludes of pictures, poetry and prayers. Wytsma's goal is quickly accomplished, that is, to bring Christians to a working understanding of God's expectation of his people being just. Relationships between righteousness and justice, joy and justice, community and justice, and worship and justice are masterly interacted with. The effect of this book on my ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful thought-provoking book about service to others and finding purpose. This is the kind of book that can direct your trajectory towards meaningful work and realign you when you feel off track.

It's grounded in Christian theology which I intuitively understood as I was raised in the church, but if you're not Christian don't let this dissuade you from reading. It has powerful anecdotes and guiding principals for anyone who is values service and a clear argument on why we should all commit
Meagan Church
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An important message for all Christians to read, understand and live out. This well-researched book explains how worship is more than the songs we sing on Sunday mornings. Worship is pursuing justice and laying down our lives for all the things God cares about...the widow, the orphan, the poor, the oppressed, His creation.... This book challenges Christians to look beyond our comfortable lives and our pursuits of consumerism to see how our actions and inactions affect others.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely the sort of book believer's in Christ need to be reading. There is a call to love and serve the people around us as we are a reflection of God's heart for the world; Pursuing Justice gives language to not only what Justice is when seen through the lease of Christianity, but gives us practical tools to engage in a world that is utterly broken and in need of a Savior.
Renee Goble
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Unless we've chosen to sacrifice our life to serve the most vulnerable, we shouldn't pretend to be 'all on fire' [for Jesus]." BRB, going to go think about all the truths in this book for the rest of the day...
Jake Ferrier
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ken's wisdom and passion weave together so many contemporary issues and injustices while compelling us to participate in God's narrative of justice. This book speaks to all, and carries a challenging and necessary (and timely) message for the Church today- a read I recommend to everyone.
Marilyn Elliott
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking book

Thought provoking book for Christians exploring a deeper understanding of their God. Take the time to read slowly and reflex.
Robert Durough, Jr.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Robert by: BookLook Bloggers
Shelves: must-reads
Pursuing Justice by Ken Wytsma, founder of The Justice Conference, is the introduction to pass along to others for understanding the need and instilling a desire and passion for justice as we lives for God, assuming they haven’t already grasped it from the Bible. Although Wytsma does not take anyone through a specific form or topic of justice, he brings his reader face to face with it is, its necessity, and the door through which one walks to begin living it and looking for those specificiti ...more
Jon Stephens
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pursuing Justice: A Call to Live and Die For Bigger Things is a new book by Ken Wytsma. Wytsma is the lead pastor of Antioch Church in Bend Oregon, the founder of The Justice Conference, and the president of Kilns College.

In having personally served in numerous countries in justice projects and finished my MA with a project on human trafficking, I have read dozens of books on the subject of justice, and Pursing Justice is by far the most comprehensive book I have read. Pursuing Justice is compel
Malin Friess
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ken was kind enough to sign my hard back copy of Pursing Justice and I am happy to review this excellent defense of why Christians are called to something so close to God's own heart: Justice.

To give some background; I don't know Ken Wytsma personally but he is the pastor of my parent's church (a Church plant from Foundry Church (formery known as First Baptist Church of Bend, Oregon.) I have heard Ken preach and he is thoughful, creative, and passionate about teaching theology. I think his "Just
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Since the delivery service arrived at my door this week bearing this review package, I've been working my way through Ken Wytsma's debut writing success, Pursuing Justice. Considering today is Valentine's Day, at this point I will say Ken's discussion of the 'Love' connection alone, is worth picking up the book. Here's the set up, abbreviated, but in Ken's words..
A "biblical concept of justice has a lot of shared space with synonyms such as love, mercy, charity... Justice is a sum of many parts.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: justice
Say you wrested a shard of glass from its setting in a beautiful mosaic, took it home and placed it on the table and declared to anyone in earshot, "This is a magnificent piece of art!" Ken Wytsma  says, "No matter how lovely that single shard was it in no way captures the glory of the whole" (6). And yet often our treatment of justice, is a mere single shard treatment:
Justice is like a mosiac. It's not only about single pieces--it's about all the pieces working together in a stunning whole. All
David Woods
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am blessed to be in Ken's congregation at Antioch, and absolutely love having him as our main teaching pastor! Pursuing Justice came out a few years ago, and I finally read it over the last 6 months. I found that I had heard a lot of the material in the book through is sermons, as Justice is a very close topic to his heart. I wonder how much more profound the book would have been if I hadn't been exposed to a lot of the material. That said, it was a great book, and every follower of Christ nee ...more
James Pate
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is about why social justice should be important to evangelical Christians. Wytsma goes into the biblical passages about God’s concern for the poor and the vulnerable, the historical reasons why many conservative Christians have had an aversion to churches focusing on social justice, how rampant consumerism in the United States has warped people’s perceptions, and the importance of—-not just refraining from harming others (the silver rule)—-but of actually caring about others’ well-bein ...more
Kelsey Bryant
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! I savored it for as long as I could, but eventually it had to end.

The Christian life is so much bigger than the individual experience you have with God.

That’s where it starts, of course, and we should cherish it. But let’s not forget the hundreds of verses in the entire Bible that call us to pursue justice: to help the orphan and widow and other needy people of society, to put ourselves in a place where we can minister to and share the Gospel with people who need Yeshua (Jesus), an
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In Pursuing Justice, Ken Wytsma portrayed that justice is important because we must listen to God and His calling to reach and touch as many lives as we can. Justice is loving people who need our help in our everyday interactions and making a different in other people’s lives. Ken Wytsma said, “The biblical concept of justice has a lot of shared space with synonyms such as love, mercy, charity, the law, righteousness, and more” (Page 4). No one likes to see the injustice being done in the world ...more
Annie Rim
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Throughout the book, Wytsma questions Christian apathy toward loving our neighbors and doing justice. He cites many verses in the Bible that call believers to act out their faith – that without clothing the least of these, we are not bringing about Kingdom changes. The main theme of this book is that without living out justice and reconciliation for the most vulnerable, Christians are completely missing the point of Jesus’ message.

Pursuing Justice is a good balance of life stories and practical
Linda Walters
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
One of the main themes of this book that jumped out is " What am I blind to?" and "What are the things that I and my generation are unaware of"? The insensitivity when we see injustice has become the new comfortable thing to do. To not see what is around us and act to resolve the pain and suffering of others . It has another name " By Stander Effect." The author shares with his readers not only the character of God concerning justice, the history of some of the injustices, and the his own "ah ha ...more
This is simply an outstanding book! Ken Wytsma has brought theological and practical depth to the contemporary Christian "justice" discussion. Ken recognizes that justice is a fad for many post-modern Christians, but Ken spends the first few chapters building a theology of justice firmly grounded in Scripture. What I appreciate most about Ken's book is his measured approach. While he is clearly a passionate advocate for justice (through his work with World Relief, Food for the Hungry, and Kilns ...more
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Naomi by: Stephen Sharkey
This was a very powerful book for me. I've been pondering what my greater purpose in life is, what I was created for, and Pursuing Justice reminded me of how important it is to not just think about MY purpose, but what is going on in other people's lives. Injustice is truly all around us - in the states, there is so much racial tension, gender inequality, and homelessness, but it can be so easy to turn a blind eye and "work on me". I think God intends so much more from us as Christians than to j ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a little kid, I commemorated the time spent growing up in Columbia, Missouri in a quaint little red ranch house by cementing my foot prints into the concrete entryway so that anyone who came upon it would know that at one point in time,I was there. It's been 18 years since I made my mark. I have no idea how many people have or who will walk up those steps and notice my own.

I love that thought. My foot prints are evidence of the past. Every single person arrived by walking in the footprints of
Stephanie Ziegler
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
I GIVE THIS BOOK: 2 out of 5 stars

First I want you to know that I did not complete this book. I read the first few chapters and then put it down. This author uses theology and philosophy to talk about justice and its relationship with God, using every subject. I absolutely detest philosophy, especially when I cannot ask questions or be a part of the conversation. So my review of this book is based on my emotions about how the subject presented.

With that being said. I did not like this book. It a
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Ken Wytsma helped create The Justice Conference. Since I am going to be at a simulcast of the conference this year, I wanted to understand the heart behind it all. Ken Wytsma gives us information on who he is and how he began to get involved with pursuing justice, which was drawn through Christ's love for people. It wasn't bad, and I think if I read the book instead of listening to the audible version I'd like it more (the guy reading it was dry in my opinion and he often paused randomly and sou ...more
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
eat tulip bulbs and potato skins, courage to love one another, religious bad men are worse per CSLewis, what we do is what we believe, save American church from American culture, consumerism, Congo tragedy for electronics, no hand-out a hand-up, go fast alone and go farther together, change humanity and change self, no justice without forgiveness, what is wrong with world is me per Chesterton, current slavery is 20M vs 15M in civil war era, passion and suffering married, need for big God stories ...more
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Ken Wytsma is a leader, innovator, and social entrepreneur respected for his insight and collaborative spirit. He is the president of Kilns College, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He is the founder of The Justice Conference—an annual international conference that introduces men and women to a wide range of organizations and conversations relating to biblical justice and God’s ...more

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Dystopias, alien invasions, regenerated dinosaurs, space operas, multiverses, and more, the realm of science fiction takes readers out of this ...
231 likes · 241 comments
“A subtle reason for apathy is that justice rarely has much to do with our lives. Unless we've personally been victims of injustice, we can take for granted that life is generally fair.” 2 likes
“Education is a means, not an end. We don't enroll in formal education ad nauseam as a way of escaping life. Rather, we educate ourselves in order to become equipped to respond wisely to God's calling.” 2 likes
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