R. York Moore did something risky. He wrote a book about social justice. That subject matter alone is a hotbed of evangelical controversy. However, he went a step further. He mixed up his message of social justice with an exposition of the book of Revelation. Now we’re in controversial territory! He salted the mixture with doses of judgment, eternal hellfire, and instructions on straightforward evangelism. Incendiary! The result is a book unlike any book on social justice I have read, and it is one that deserves a careful and honest read.
Book Review of Making All Things New
- Title: Making All Things New: God’s Dream for Social Justice
- Author: R. York Moore
- Audiobook Narrator: R. York Moore
- Publisher: IVP Books
- Date: December 1, 2012
- Length: 170 pages
- Audio Length: 4.5 hours
Overview of Making All Things New
The ways in which Making All Things New differs from other social justice books is apparent. In the first place, the author introduces the biblical metaphor of marriage by which to view God’s love for his bride, and his subsequent effort to make her clean. In York’s view, such cleansing entails justice for the enslaved and abused of the world.
Second, Moore employs the theme of judgment to argue for the importance of justice. From the book of Revelation, he demonstrates how God’s judgment of the world is part of the overarching framework of God’s pursuit of justice. The author doesn’t shy away from a true, biblical portrayal of God — God’s anger, warrior status, and the intensity of his judgment. Moore eloquently describes the paradox in this way:
When the great eschatological realities of the Christian faith are ignored or allegorized, we lose the ability to provide a cohesive, comprehensive worldview. As a result, the Christian message itself is compromised. We can’t have the great love of God without the great wrath of God.” (Page 50)
Moore traces the arc of God’s “dream” for justice from Eden to the New Jerusalem. He sees this dream for justice as an inextricable part of God’s global mission to make disciples from all nations (Matthew 28:19–20). Along the way, he insists upon the centrality of gospel proclamation joined with meeting physical needs.
The book ends with a well-grounded appeal for all Christians to become part of God’s dream — a dream that he will surely bring to pass. The final chapter, “Joining God in Making All Things New,” is a clarion call to engage in God’s grand program for justice and righteousness in the present as we look towards the future.
Thoughts on Making All Things New
Making All Things New blends motivation with argumentation. The book is full of anecdotes that provide a high-definition look at injustices around the world. These accounts are plaintive and poignant. They are themselves a form of motivation. Although there is this emotional tug, there is also theological and eschatological revelation. Moore demonstrates how justice is rooted in the character and plan of God, and why, therefore, Christians should be involved.
Throughout the book, Moore uses the term “dream” to describe God’s plan and passion for justice (e.g., page 12). Without setting forth a solid definition of “dream,” such terminology may seem a bit nebulous, especially at the opening of the book.
As a whole, Making All Things New provides solid footing for the pursuit of social justice in the evangelical church today. Yes, we must acknowledge the need for gospel proclamation together with acts of mercy, but we cannot neglect one for the other. The book will help you to construct a biblical framework for justice, and compel you to engage in the essential ministry of making all things new.
Note on the audio edition: R. York Moore narrates the audio edition of the book. I appreciate it when the author reads their own work, since they usually bring into their reading a pathos that professional readers may lack. Moore, as an experienced public speaker, is a capable narrator.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this review copy for free as part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program of christianaudio.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”