Month: July 2014

Minding the Margins: Look Beyond the Middle Class

The middle class’ concern for their own interests is legitimate, but people of faith must put a particular emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable and ensure their voices are heard amid the political noise.

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Why the govenrnment’s refugee health appeal is wrong

Refugees and their advocates joined an interesting mix of doctors, provincial politicians, and lawyers this month to cheer a 268-page decision from Justice Anne Mactavish. The Federal Court ruled that the June 2012 refugee healthcare cuts went against Section 12 of the Charter and constituted “cruel and unusual” treatment for claimants and their children.

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Living Ecological Justice: Reconnecting with the Soils that Sustain Us

“We need to … reflect on ‘our daily bread,’ given to us each day, and think about our relationship, not only with food, but with each other, with creation, and with the Creator.” – Wayne Groot, Living Ecological Justice, p. 33. Eating locally and knowing where our food originates is one of the ways Wayne…

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Letters to the Editor

From The Catalyst Summer 2014 Refugee Sponsorship I appreciated your articles on refugees as well as poverty. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) provides funds to their own sponsored refugees according to the local Social Services model. In Alberta, the model is based on a formula, rather than individual needs. Since housing has become so expensive, those who…

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Book Review: Sabbath as Resistance By Walter Brueggemann

From The Catalyst Summer 2014

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now

By Walter Brueggemann

Westminster John Knox Press, 2014

Reviewed by Genevieve Gallant

In Sabbath as Resistance, Walter Brueggemann continues his extensive scholarship on the Old Testament and the prophets in order to share a prophetic message about the life-giving role the Sabbath can play in our society of 24/7 consumption.

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Book Review: Abraham Kuyper By James D. Bratt

From The Catalyst Summer 2014

Abraham Kuyper: Modern Calvinist, Christian Democrat

By James D. Bratt

Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2013

Reviewed by Joe Gunn

Would reading 450 pages of Dutch social, political, and theological debates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries help us further understand what CPJ means by “public justice?” Reading James Bratt’s book leads me to a resounding “yes!”

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Book Review: How the World’s Religions Are Responding to Climate Change

From The Catalyst Summer 2014

How the World’s Religions Are Responding to Climate Change

Edited by Robin Globus Veldman, Andrew Szasz, and Randolph Haluza- DeLay

Routledge, 2013

Reviewed by Ben Pasha

The issue of climate change has been a significant subject of alarm for many individuals. This has typically been a concern for those involved in the physical sciences. However, climate change has now grabbed the attention of different faith communities as well, due to the role ecological issues play in societal challenges like poverty and health care.

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Book Review: Playing God By Andy Crouch

From The Catalyst Summer 2014

Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power

By Andy Crouch

IVP Books, 2013

Reviewed by Janelle Vandergrift

In Playing God, Andy Crouch defines power as the ability to “make something of this world” and the deepest form is creation. He argues that power is not essentially coercive and violent, though it can often be misused for domination. We can “play God,” Crouch suggests, by using our power redemptively (through institutions, for example) but we can also “play God” through injustice (playing gods in the lives of others) and idolatry (making gods). It’s up to us to discipline our power towards true image bearing. Crouch unearths several assumptions we may hold about power that lead us to disengage, divest, and even underestimate our power instead of acknowledging it as a gift that is essential for image bearing.

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Book Review: On God’s Side By Jim Wallis

From The Catalyst Summer 2014

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good

By Jim Wallis

Brazos Press, 2013

Reviewed by Brad Wassink

In On God’s Side, Jim Wallis delivers a thorough reproach of religious leaders across the political spectrum.

Wallis uses the common good to show that in order to solve the crises of our time, we need people of faith to get more, not less, involved in the political process.

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Book Review: Jesus on Justice By Don Posterski

From The Catalyst Summer 2014

Jesus on Justice: Living Lives of Compassion and Conviction

By Don Posterski

World Vision Canada, 2013

Reviewed by Karri Munn-Venn

​Jesus on Justice offers a clear and compelling illustration of our Christian calling to seek justice and love mercy by modeling our lives on Jesus. Understanding that “Jesus was a cultural maverick, a social revolutionary and a religious innovator,” this “biblical action guide” addresses a range of issues through the lenses of exclusion, prejudice, power, and advocacy.

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