Book Review: Journeys to Justice – Who’ll Carry the Mission?

By Citizens for Public Justice

From the Catalyst, Summer 2018

Journeys to Justice: Reflections on Canadian Christian Activism

By Joe Gunn

Novalis, 2018

Who Will Carry the Mission Forward?

By The Rt. Rev. Dr. John H Chapman, 9th Bishop of Ottawa, Anglican Church of Canada

Journeys to Justice includes stories and reflections offered by a variety of justice seekers these past forty years. But, at the end of it all, the reader will see inside Joe’s heart and soul. He reveals in his own words and through the words of others, a desperation to make our world right and holy. This is not work done in isolation but rather it is communal work. He rightly recognizes that we all must work together to address a society that seems to have lost its steam, as Joe puts it, to seek justice for all of God’s people. In addition to sharing with us a compelling account of the good work that has unfolded in the past, there is a longing in his heart, a wondering perhaps, as to who will continue this good and holy work. The “heady days” of the 70’s and 80’s are long past. No longer are expressions or catch phrases like “preferential option for the poor,” “Christian activism,” “justice for all,” commonplace in our society today. But the problems remain – who will carry the mission forward?

Joe is, and all of the ten contributors are, clearly asking the question: can we rise above our own internal sin and limitations and continue our work toward a just society? We have the capacity, even now, but is there the will? Do we have ears to hear God’s call? Can we see the mission God calls us to embrace?

Perhaps what moves me most as I plow through names of people and organizations is the underlying theme that while God calls all people to be justice seekers, God also calls out particular people to offer leadership through word, example, passion, and hopefulness. In other words, God calls out of our midst prophets who will speak truth to power, truth to one another, always mindful of the frailty and beauty of every human being. This book allows you to hear from ten such prophets and Joe, who may not think of himself as a prophet in his own time, but the reader will quickly conclude that he is, indeed!
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