From his role in founding the Amos Trust to his folksy music, which I first heard at a Greenbelt circa 1980, singer-songwriter, author and Anglican priest Garth Hewitt’s ministry has always been characterised by an eclectic spirituality and a theology that is firmly rooted in biblical notions of justice and equality.
In this rather unusual but stimulating book, Hewitt blends song lyrics and liturgies with his own musings on justice, Jesus, extreme wealth (which he hopes to end by the year 2025) and non-violence, with a special focus on Palestine and Bethlehem. He also unpacks the Old Testament book of Amos, the source of his charity’s name, with its prophetic imperative (famously invoked by Martin Luther King) that ‘justice roll on like a river’ (Amos 5:24).
The book is something of a spiritual meander, and its emphasis on social justice may rankle with some readers. It also presumes detailed prior knowledge of the Israel-Palestine conflict on the part of the reader, which many Christians simply do not have. But set against the backdrop of the terrible violence in Gaza this summer, it is a powerful call for Christians to embrace what Hewitt calls ‘God’s revolution of love’ through political and social action.
The questions at the end of each chapter make this book a strong study resource for small groups. It doesn’t have the theological weight of, say, Tim Keller’s Generous Justice (Riverhead Trade), but is an excellent read all the same.
JEREMY MOODEY is CEO at Embrace the Middle East