The book is divided into seven sections: Transforming Justice, Stop, See, Open, Choose, Ask, Proclaim, and Remember.
I’ll begin by getting my mild criticisms out of the way. First, I feel the tone of the book is a bit too professional. Hoang feels superhuman when writing of her college days, love of Scripture, evening hymn sings with her family and times of stillness and prayer at the office. It’s easy to get the impression that she’s never stopped caring, that she’s faithfully practiced all these disciplines as long as she’s known them. It was hard for me to relate at times. This is balanced some, however, by her descriptions of how hard it can be for her to stop and rest or pray. It’s also her first book, so it’s fair to say that she’s still finding her voice. In the end, it may simply be a matter of taste.
A review of Jim Martin’s new book, The Just Church.
“My faith, my theology, my life experience, simply could not accomodate Marta’s story. I wanted to unlearn what I’d just heard–to purge it from my mind. But that was impossible. I racked my brain for some comforting thought, some idea, some theological construct, some passage of Scripture that would quench the fire of emotion raging in my chest. I was uncomfortable with the level of anger I was feeling–rage, even–toward anyone who would destroy the lives of children like the ones in the pictures before me. But at the failure point, there is no such help, no easy answer. The faith I had brought with me to Peru simply failed” (The Just Church, p. 39).
So Jim Martin describes his first up-close encounter with violent injustice. What he describes is remarkably similar to the first time I heard the stories: Stories that begin with someone’s dignity being ripped away by someone more powerful and end with the hopeful response of God’s people resulting in rescue and rehabilitation.