The Church has a reservoir of wisdom and truth in the Bible, and a role to play in witnessing to that truth. The Bible is full of mandates and challenges that ask us, the disciples of Jesus Christ, to â€œMake our light shine, so that others may see our good works and give glory to our God in heavenâ€ (Matt 5:16). The purpose of this bookâ€”written by 34 dedicated Christian scholars and community practitionersâ€”is to help Christâ€™s church to understand how this â€œworldâ€ and the people who live in it think, feel, and react to some of the issues they face in their daily lives, and how to bring peace, justice and compassion to the society that surrounds our homes, churches, and communities. Jesus says, â€œBlessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God (Matt 5:9).â€ Shalom, which we translate as peace means more than the absence of conflict. To live in shalom, as a peacemaker, means we actively live our lives in a way that brings healing, wholeness, harmony and well being to the lives of people we meet. This is not a prescriptive book that will provide answers to all the social and missiological woes in society (though there will be some guidelines for how to start various ministries). Instead, the authors have attempted to describe some of the problems that exist in our societies and churches and have encouraged the readers as individuals, as well as groups, to find their own answers to many of the issues raised. Some of the issues raised will not be comfortable to discuss in Church circles, but we all hope that they will be treated with the same respect and compassion that Jesus gives in response to each one of our needs.
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