Slow Kingdom Coming: A Review

July 16, 2016

I recently read Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World by Kent Annan. I'd previously read and appreciated his other two books and so quickly picked up his latest. Annan is co-director of Haiti Partners, a nonprofit focused on education in Haiti. 

His latest book notes the desire we may have as Christians to see the Kingdom come, especially as we become aware of all the heartbreak, disasters, and tragedies in the world. He admits we can be tempted to try "justice shortcuts" to transform the world, but that ultimately that doesn't work. So he instead offers five practices to ground justice work to make it healthier, more effective, and more appropriate. 

Annan's five practices are attention (we must pay attention to be awoken to justice needs), confession (we need to get ourselves set so we can engage others well), respect (we must follow the 'golden rule' in how we treat others), partnering (we must realize we are working with other people not for them), and truthing (we must be honest in assessing what we do). 

Slow Kingdom Coming is a good, thoughtful book. It's a helpful take on engaging in justice work that is more about seeing the Kingdom come than about us feeling good or looking good. Any Christian involved in international ministry particularly needs to read this book as Annan utilizes examples from his own international work that show the need for the five practices in such contexts.

As much as I'd love for there to be quick fixes, Annan is right. Without these practices, we could do more damage than good. It matters not only what we do, but why and especially how. I hope this book will help as together we seek to bring a bit of the Kingdom here on earth. 

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