The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2018
Grace Ji-Sun Kim /
Paperback: IVP Books, 2018
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Englewood Review of Books: Many books on Christian practices have been published over the last two or three decades. How is your book different from these older books on Christian practices?
Grace Ji-Sun Kim: Yes, many books have been published over the last two or three decades, but ours is different from these earlier books on Christian practices in several ways. As Willie Jennings notes in the foreword of our book, “The crucial matter today for Christian discipleship is not what you practice but who you practice with.” And this focus is the one we have chosen for our book. Many other books of the past and present focus on what we practice, but these books consistently fail to emphasize who you practice it with. This focus is highlighted through our co-writing as a white male and an Asian American woman, which adds new perspectives and richness to our book. The co-authors’ different ethnic, geographical, and social locations stress the need for diversity and the awareness of inclusion in our churches and in our communities. Also, one of us teaches in Australia and the other teaches in the United States, so these different locations have an impact on our understandings of oppression, suffering, and healing. Our distinct locations add richness to our various examples—sin, lament, reconciliation, ministry, etc.— as they are drawn from two different global locations and thus bring together differing perspectives and understandings. Furthermore, our co-authorship joins together both an academic perspective and anactivist/practitioner perspective which broadens the book’s readership and interest.
Furthermore, our book is threaded with recommendations of how we can incorporate actions with people who are so different from us. We cannot keep doing what we are doing with people who are ‘just like us,’ as this will only maintain the status quo. Rather, building community and practicing discipleship needs to be done with people of various backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, sexualities, etc. This diversity of people will enrich our practices, bringing healing to our personal brokenness as well as to the brokenness of our communities and churches.
- From our interview with Grace Ji-Sun Kim
in our Fall 2018 magazine issue
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