Engage: Faith that Matters (Signs Publishing, 2018)
As a Christian—in my most honest moments of reflection—I wish for transformational faith and persistent courage to change the world. I want to reclaim my privileged life, to use my time and to share my possessions so I can become the heart, the voice, the hands and the feet of Jesus to my God-ordained family: to neighbours, friends, strangers and the least of these.
In the context of this yearning, Nathan Brown’s Engage: Faith that Matters—a collection of essays about the responsibility and the privilege evoked by our divine commission to engage with our world—enriched, challenged and inspired me.
Engage enriched my understanding of Jesus as the servant God, the radical peacemaker, the humble rescuer, the unsung hero and the ultimate lover of all people. Nathan’s view of God—biblical, attractive and fresh—speaks of grace and compassion.
It also challenged my self-imposed limitations about what it means to be engaged “in the world” while not being “of the world”. About our collective ability to do good—with God—as an act of worship and to replicate God’s generosity.
And ultimately, it inspired me to look for opportunities, big or small, to breathe relevance into my life, to let my compassion shine and to aspire for more. More doing and less talking, more loving and less preaching, more acceptance and less judgment, more justice and less pain, more like Jesus and less like me.
Nathan’s prose is based on solid theology, careful research and eloquent storytelling. The essays are succinct, but they make an impact. The stories are personal and real. And the lessons are applicable to life—now. Engage is the kind of book you think you will read slowly—one essay at a time—but find yourself unable to put down, before going back with highlighter and pen for a deeper study.
It is about encouraging us, as disciples of Jesus, “to be most engaged in our world and in our communities.” And when we do, we will live out love as Jesus did—salt, light, hands, feet, heart, voice, all.
Bruna Tawake is Fundraising Manager for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia.
Engage: Faith that Matters
Engage: Faith that Matters is available from Seventh-day Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand or from hopeshop.com.
Nathan Talks: “Engage: Bringing faith to justice” | March 10
Many of our conversations about justice are about urging people of faith to understand justice as part of their faith—and to do something about it. But shouldn’t we also consider the need and the opportunities to bring faith to justice? Marking the launch of Engage—his new collection of essays—Signs Publishing book editor Nathan Brown argues faith can offer justice, depth, resilience and the invitation to follow a God of justice. Presented by Sydney Adventist Forum and Avondale College of Higher Education. Freewill offering. Ella Hughes Chapel, Avondale College of Higher Education (Lake Macquarie campus), Saturday, March 10, 3.30 pm. www.facebook.com/adventistforumsyd or www.avondale.edu.au/events.