Many Christians struggle to connect their faith with social justice. If God is a loving God, then why does he allow injustices to exist? What does God's Word have to say about poverty and racism? If God loves immigrants and the poor, then why do so many Christians actually promote injustice? 1.2 million young people are leaving the church in America every year, many because of the broken witness of numerous Christians toward immigrants, the poor, the disabled, and the incarcerated. The faithful life witness and writings of Bartolomé de Las Casas offer understandings and answers to the many "why's" being asked by so many young people today. Though he lived five hundred years ago, Las Casas wrestled with many of the same theological questions raised by young Christians today. As a pastor, he was one of the first to write Christian books documenting and condemning racial abuses toward native Americans. Today, we still have much to learn from Las Casas about faithful Christian witness.
Las Casas on Faithful Witness is such a powerful little book; it brings home to the reader deep truths about the human potential for the justification of extreme cruelty by corrupt theology and in contrast, our potential to be awakened by the Word of God to the call to justice. It also provides young people in our community a more nuanced and accurate picture of the history of the Latin American church than the standard secular description—critically important in an age when emerging generations are leaving the church at least partially because they lack any knowledge of the faithfulness and courage of believers who have embodied the full spectrum of the values taught and lived by Jesus. I hope that this book is well used in our churches and communities.
Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, DMiss,
Academic Dean of Centro Latino
Fuller Theological Seminary
The present work is attuned to some of the questions and longings posed by younger Latinx generations seeking to connect gospel and justice amid their neighborhoods, cities, churches, and lives. Las Casas’ model of integrative Christian witness offers readers a faithful example of advocacy for such a time as this. I commend the authors for this work that presents poignant challenges to the church’s prophetic and critical role in realities of violence, racism, poverty, and suffering in the North American and Majority World contexts.
Juan F. Martinez, PhD,
Author of "The Story of Latino Protestants in the United States" and "Churches, Cultures & Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities"