Like many others, people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Medgar Evers (to name only a few) have been deeply inspirational to my life and faith. These women and men exemplify what it means to “do justice” in a world that suffers the brokenness and injustice of sin. Their words carried such great authority because their lives reflected the uncompromising willingness to stand against injustice, to speak truth into the maelstrom of lies, even (and always) at great personal cost. For many, it cost them their lives. They are true activists.
I believe in what these amazing people fought for- both in their commitment to oppose exploitation, neglect and violence, as well as in their longing pursuit of societies of generosity, hospitality and peace. And, like many others, it is quite easy for me to invoke their names in discussions about injustices, quoting there speeches and retelling their stories, vicariously sharing in their greatness with little actual cost to myself. It is far too easy.
The fact is, I am not a great speaker or a charismatic leader. I do not possess the giftings and strengths that make these examples stand out. Therefore, it is easy for me to justify my inaction and complacency. After all, activism is a rare and narrow vocation for those better equipped than me. Right? Wrong.
Adam Taylor humbly, yet powerfully reminds us what true activism really is, summed up the very title of his book: “Mobilizing Hope”. In the words of Dr. King, he reminds us that what the world needs- what God is calling for- are “transformed nonconformists”. While honoring the need for such central leaders as mentioned above, Taylor makes it clear that they are but one expression of what activism is. There is no individual, no set of gifts or strengths that cannot be given over to the task of mobilizing hope, of being transformed nonconformists.
“Mobilizing Hope: Faith Inspired Activism For A Post-Civil Rights Generation” shows us that godly activism is both a universal vocation of every Christian and able to be practiced in ways that incorporate anyone and everyone willing to follow Christ. And that is what it comes down to: willingness to follow. Are you willing? Am I?
This book is not a niche title for a few politically minded, left leaning rabble-rousers, but instead is that every Christian would benefit from reading & reflecting on.