Review: Haugen, Gary, Just Courage: God’s Great Expedition For The Restless Christian 2008, Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press. -- By: Dallas K. Miller
Journal: Global Journal of Classical Theology
Volume: GJCT 07:3 (Dec 2009)
Article: Review: Haugen, Gary, Just Courage: God’s Great Expedition For The Restless Christian 2008, Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press.
Author: Dallas K. Miller
Haugen, Gary, Just Courage: God’s Great Expedition For The Restless Christian
2008, Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press.
Review by The Honourable, Dallas K. Miller Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Lethbridge, Alberta.
Edward John Carnell, the great twentieth century apologist who taught at Fuller Theological Seminary in its early years, stated that there are as many defenses for the faith as there are facts in the world. Though not intended as a book on apologetics, Just Courage falls into the broad category of defending the faith as defined by Carnell.
Gary Haugen was the director of the United Nations genocide investigation in Rwanda in the early 1990’s and is the founder and president of International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights organization based in Washington, D.C. He has written previously on justice and human rights issues in The Good News About Injustice (1999, InterVarsity) and Terrify No More (2005, Thomas Nelson). IJM rescues victims of slavery, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. By way of personal disclosure, the reviewer is chairman of the board of directors for IJM-Canada.
While the book is intended to be an encouragement to Christian believers to confront the evils of slavery and sex trafficking, its unintended apologetic value and consequences are significant. In this short and easy-to-read treatise, Haugen does three things that are of value in defending the Christian faith. He accepts the Bible as divine revelation, he assumes Jesus’ deity, and he adopts an eternal approach to the injustices of this world.
The Old Testament is not discounted as simply describing a God of wrath but rather Haugen portrays a God of justice who in both the major and minor prophets was concerned with “his” people communicating and acting out justice, an essential and core attribute of God. The book of Psalms is treated as literature of rescue and redemption with a goal of glorifying the Creator God, just as the Jews and Christ read it. Haugen’s handling of the Old Testament results in a conclusion that any good apologist would want to reach - that is, an act of worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Likewise, his treatment of the New Testament and Jesus has apologetic implications. The hope that is portrayed in Christ’s resurrection as the answer to man’s sinful, fallen nature points to why followers of Christ should fight injustice and protect human rights. The positive message that Jesus has conquered sin, evil, and death through his sacrifice, gives hope and encouragement to tackle human rights abuses. Few books in this area have the Gospel as the core message to motivate people to fight the evil of human rights abuses.
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