The book centres itself at least in my perspective around the term “shalom.” Chris Seay uses this term to describe this state of restored relationship with God and with those around us. For the author are all called to live in and embrace others in shalom and help others find shalom in their own lives.
The gospel is the good news that God is calling out all people to be redeemed by the power residing in the life, death, and ultimate resurrection of Jesus the Liberating King. These ‘called-out ones’ are rescued from a life of slavery, sin, and failure to become emissaries in a new kingdom set to join the redemption of the entire creation, groaning and longing to be redeemed. 49
I really did enjoy this book and I found that it did challenge me in my faith and how I live it out everyday. However, that being said I found it to be a difficult read as I found myself losing interest at times. I found that odd because it was not as if it was not helpful, or interesting, I just found that it was a book that you would read a bit and then set it down to think over the challenges that were laid before you through the words of the author.
Chris Seay is attempting to right a misunderstanding between understanding the true meaning and actions that define a righteousness. The conversation and I would say the conclusion that Seay came to is that the majority of church going individuals define righteousness through their understanding of morality and not through the message of the gospels.
The best simple translation of the word righteousness is ‘restorative justice.’ God is stepping into our brokenness and making things right, taking fragments shattered by sin and restoring them to fullness. The reality is that God is calling us to take part in his glory, which comes from heaven to earth, and to live in his abundance, together. Seeking his righteousness is about being an active agent for his restorative justice in all of creation. 12
I will say that I did lose most of my interest at the end of every chapter when their was a manuscript of an interview between one or two individuals and the author. At first I liked the premise of this idea, but I found that they did not provide the necessary ah ha moments for me that I hoped a practical discussion around the chapter would have provided.
I really enjoyed the discussion on how we can jump the gun and call things of this world, or individuals evil without thinking through what the connotations of that statement really represent in the eyes of God.
Modern Christians have taken a previously integrated world and subdivided it into the sacred or secular, physical or spiritual, good or bad, profane or religious—categories that do not serve us well because they are simply untrue. God created the physical, and that makes it uniquely spiritual. The so-called “bad people” are also created in the image of God. 146
The author wants the reader to imagine seeing people as “shalom” or “broken shalom” rather than good or bad. If you see them as broken shalom, you’re not allowed to look down on them; instead, you are called to join God in his redemptive work in their lives.
I would not say this is a must read. I probably would not have read it if I had not heard him speak at a conference I attended, but I wanted to go deeper into his ideas of righteousness and shalom.
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