Justice in the Burbs, by Will and Lisa Samson (LentBooks #3)

justiceThis is book I was actually anticipating during Lent.  I learned about it when I read one of Lisa Sampson’s novels, which I find generally a cut above the average “Christian women’s fiction.”  Looking for more books by her, I was intrigued to discover that she and her husband had co-authored a book about pursuing a Christian lifestyle of social justice while living a traditional American, middle-class suburban life.

This is a constant pre-occupation of mine, because I feel the call to a life of justice strongly, yet I am deeply rooted in my middle-class lifestyle.  My problem is not so much living in the “burbs,” but rather living in the inner city (as “inner city” as St. John’s gets; we live on the edge of one of the city’s oldest public housing developments) with a surburban lifestyle and mentality.  I’m in the middle of people in genuine need and yet I often feel isolated in my middle-class comfort.

I found this book well-written, interesting and inspiring, as well as practical.  Lisa’s skills as a novelist are evident in the introduction to each chapter as she writes a short narrative passage following the experiences of Matthew and Christine, a typical suburban Christian couple who become convicted of the call to live a life of justice.  Their experiences — and the expository chapters that follow — underline the obvious fact that trying to “do justly, and love mercy” is not easy.  It will be disruptive to your comfortable lifestyle.  This is a constant challenge to me, and this book inspired me to deepen my commitment to a Christian vision of social justice.


Filed under LentBooks, Nonfiction -- general

4 responses to “Justice in the Burbs, by Will and Lisa Samson (LentBooks #3)

  1. This book sounds threatening! But probably something I should read.

  2. I’m probably making it sound scarier than it actually is!! They do emphasize that it’s possible (and indeed, desirable) to take small steps towards caring for the poor, caring for the environment, etc., rather than feeling you have to turn everything upside down all at once. But there is definitely the warning there that a certain amount of world-upsetting is inevitable — eventually — once you are committed to an agenda of justice.

  3. I met Lisa Samson last summer at a writers conference. She is tremendously authentic and as challenging in person as in print.

  4. I’d like to meet her. I’m very impressed by the things I’ve read of hers so far.

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