Subversive Jesus by Craig Greenfield
Have you ever considered what life would look like on the wrong side of the tracks? In this new book, Subversive Jesus by Craig Greenfield, Craig calls his readers to peer into a life devoted to helping the messiest of people, from drug dealers to the impoverished, from homeless to the abusers. What is most amazing in his journey is that he takes Jesus’ call to love the poor and to love his neighbor so seriously that he puts his family right into the middle of these situations. From Cambodia to Vancouver, this book is filled with eye opening adventures, subversive ways of helping the hurting and seeking to release them from the bondage of addictions. Yet, the book is really a wake-up call to those living comfortably to think how God is calling them to reach out to those all around them who they’ve never even met.
Coming back from a trip to Cambodia for over six month, Craig realizes something quite striking, he writes, “As I searched the Scriptures, it dawned on me that the Jesus I had embraced in my privileged upbringing might not represent the good news for the poor and the oppressed (18).” The domesticated and tame Jesus of western culture doesn’t quite rock the boat or reach through the sectors of middle class America into the heart of the broken. Not only this, but Craig came to grips with the truth that his own faith didn’t make a mark against the injustice around him too (19). After finding a partner in the faith and a wife in Nay, who herself had seen the face of oppression in Cambodia, Craig decided to go back after school to minister in the Cambodian slums. This is not generally a thought that is entertained by graduating seminarians, but Craig and Nay knew that this was the path for them.
One of the great things about the book was the Craig and those whom he ministered with called those who were ministered to to help out in the house. Mike, “the Smokes Guy,” who found Craig’s apartment came over for dinner many times. He knew that he could help by cooking, so he came by, never clean by Craig’s standards, but made a meal with much commotion. Mike told others that Craig’s place was a house where you didn’t stand in line and wait but they treat you like a human being. This kind of dignity that Craig showed those who came by offered a lot to people who were used to abuse and demeaning undignified responses to their appearances and person.
Overall, this book is a real good look into helping the poor, having heart for those in hard times, and learning to live out of our faith rather than our comfort.
Thanks to Zondervan and BookLookBloggers for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.