The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right
:"On these pages, the Garden of Eden meets the world we live in." - Shane Claiborne, activist and author God once declared everything in the world "very good." Can you imagine it? Through careful exploration of...
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:"On these pages, the Garden of Eden meets the world we live in."
- Shane Claiborne, activist and author
God once declared everything in the world "very good."
Can you imagine it?
Through careful exploration of the biblical text, particularly the first three chapters of Genesis, Lisa Sharon Harper shows us what "very good" can look like today-in real time.
Shalom is what God declared. Shalom is what the Kingdom of God looks like. Shalom is when all people are treated equitably and have enough. It's when families are healed. It's when churches, schools, and public policies protect human dignity.
Shalom is when the image of God is recognized, protected, and cultivated in every single human. It is the vision God set forth in the Garden and the restoration God desires for every broken relationship. Shalom is the "very good" in the gospel.
Because despite our anxious minds, despite divisions, and despite threats of violence, God's vision remains: wholeness for a fragmented world. Peace for a hurting soul. Shalom.
Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners senior director of mobilizing, was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. In that capacity, she helped establish Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, a citywide collaborative effort of faith leaders committed to leveraging the power of their constituencies and their moral authority in partnership with communities bearing the weight of environmental injustice. She also organized faith leaders to speak out for immigration reform and organized the South
Lisa Sharon Harper has written a bracing, generative exposition of the elemental narrative of gospel faith. She has done so by sharing the sequence of the &"very good&" of creation, &"the wreckage of the Fall,&" and the &"very good&" of the gospel of reconciliation and restoration.
The powerful witness of her book is an antidote to a &"thin&" reading of the gospel. By thin Harper means a surface reading that settles simply and immediately for what meets the eye and assumes that a quick summary gets it all. Such a reading of the gospel risks reducing it to a package of certitudes without recognition of the depth and mystery of the news. She examines the convenient fundamentalism that has too often given credence to racism and gender violence, and she addresses the progressive church and the flaws of &"thin&" theology.
Thus, Harper proposes a &"thick&" reading of the gospel. The notion of &"thick description&rdquo