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

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  195 Ratings  ·  40 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 meani
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Thomas Nelson
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Tim Hoiland
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
This book should be required reading for new and old Christians alike. Phenomenal.
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan Schlesman
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Robert Durough, Jr.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 specificities ...more
Jon Stephens
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition

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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelsey Bryant
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
James Pate
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Linda Walters
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
The only way to true happiness is by giving of ourselves rather than constantly thinking about ourselves. In Pursuing Justice, Wystma extends the challenge for us to do more for the community in which we live and less for ourselves.

Whether we realize it or not - we’re already giving our lives away, but to what? Meaningless things in this world or to the things that matter to God and benefit other people? Wystma talks about finding true joy through serving others.

Pursuing Justice is filled with i
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Don Weidinger
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Philippe Lazaro
“We don't stray away from good doctrine or truth by focusing on justice and compassion for those in the margins - rather, we find Jesus and truth in the margins.”

–Ken Wytsma

Good book! Wytsma's thoughts and explorations were very well thought out and well put, and they drew from quite a wide variety of sources to support the points he's made.

I'd recommend this to anyone looking to explore more of how issues of justice and faith are connected.
Steven Kopp
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the book:
"In pursuing justice, we don't need a formula, but a desire to see love reign. Not a list of wrongs to right, but a hunger for the joy that comes in giving. Not simply a cause, but a calling to live and die for bigger things."

The review on the cover boasts that this is a "groundbreaking book". I'm not so sure about that but it was a thorough, clear, and passionate call to give your life away to follow God in pursuit of justice.
I could have done with the illustrations and some of the in-between-chapters poetry and such (I think most of it's a bit cheesy), but otherwise I loved this book. Wytsma writes clearly and backs up what he says with Scripture. When I finished reading, I was all fired up to do my part to make the world (or at least my community) a better place.
Andy Mitchell
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prepare to be challenged to live beyond the "Silver Rule" of do no harm.

If you're a Christian committed to living out the Golden Rule--do for others what you want them to do for you--you will find this book meaningful.

A few earlier chapters are a bit slow, but the book builds to a powerful conclusion and is worth your time.

Shauna Tharp
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really resonated with me. His argument of justice as an essential, but overlooked, characteristic of God is an important one. He also makes some really important points for anyone passionate about social justice - from the need for sustainable relationships and not just fast "fixes" to the importance of our daily spending. Well worth the read!
Beyond words, I felt like crying multiple times throughout the book and my perspective on the world and justice has been changed for the better. After reading this I feel as if my eyes have been opened and I can continue the pursuit of justice.
Megan Benjamin
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the whole message of this book. Pursing justice in a culture that doesn't value justice is difficult to do. As Christians we are called to be different. I am happy that gods truth is revealed in this book.
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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
More about Ken Wytsma...
“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.” 1 likes
“Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander. (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum qtd. in Halter)” 1 likes
More quotes…