Faith without works is dead, St. James tells us, highlighting the eternal struggle between salvation by faith alone and our desire to earn our way to heaven. All those struggles recounted in the Book of Acts and the epistles, not to mention the ongoing debate between Jesus and the Pharisees in the gospels, continue to play themselves out today. That may be an inadvertent argument for the unchanging nature of the human heart.
Part of the difficulty is our failure to grasp the idea that salvation does not depend upon anything we do. It can’t, or it wouldn’t be salvation. We don’t perform our way to heaven. In a very real way, the whole notion of performance cheapens or trivializes what Jesus did on the cross.
But then St. James comes along like a good Missourian and says “Show me.” He’s not telling us to perform. What he is saying is that our faith – our living faith – will naturally flow outward. Works is an expression of real faith, and it’s not performance where we expect applause. What is it, then? Acts of charity, hope, love, encouragement, healing, teaching, preaching.
Activist Faith: From Him and For Him explains how that works. And more than that, Activist Faith provides an array of possibilities for faith to flow outward naturally to helping meet people’s needs and in so doing being a witness to them.
Written by Dillon Burroughs, Daniel Darling and Dan King, Activist Faith simply and concisely describes12 ways faith can be put to work.
Who was it who fought slavery o extinction in Great Britain? Christians. Who led the way and continues to provide the major impetus for ending human trafficking today? Christians.
Do you care about immigration and border issues, and not only upholding the law but also ministering to the people who often risk everything (legally and illegally) to slip in the United States? Activist Faith has some ideas for you.
What about poverty, and those people Jesus said would be with us always? Can their needs be met? Are the poor indeed with us always? Read Activist Faith.
Interested in breaking the welfare-entitlement mentality? Environmental issues? Disaster relief? Caring for the homeless in the fullest sense of “caring”? Abortion? Or war and genocide? Or religious freedom (do you know about the pastor imprisoned by Iran simply because he refuses to renounces his faith?). Or the family, or problems with prisoners, or orphans?
Activist Faith has suggestions, ideas and practical things you can do.
The book is filled with examples of real people doing small (and something large) and extraordinary things. We don’t have to be Charles Colsons to make a difference in prisons, and we don’t have to be a celebrity to get involved in something that matters. We can do things that express our faith, that say who we are as Christians, and testify whom we stand for.
Activist Faith is a practical book, an encouraging book, and a hopeful book. Read it – and find a way to make your faith come alive.
Activist Faith will be officially published on Monday, July 15.
Photograph by Sabine Sauermaul via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.