address issues that take on a
distinctive shape in Canada, in-
cluding urban and rural areas,
what aboriginal Christians can
teach about mis-
sions, and where
youth are in rela-
tion to faith and
Green Shoots re-
flects Jesus’ im-
agery of natural
what feels like a dry spell for
many churches, green shoots
are springing to life in un-
expected ways and places.
The essayists trace this en-
gaging imagery in three sec-
tions. “The Lay of the Land”
offers a theology of mission
and an overview of Canadian
cultures today. “Nursery Gar-
dens” samples the growth in
the various “fields” of Canadian
mission. “A Garden That Will
Last” suggests what is needed
for mission to bring about sus-
tained and lasting change.
No ivory tower theorists,
the authors write from their
personal experiences as practi-
tioners of mission. Ten stories
of innovative ministries, cre-
ative church plants and fresh
expressions of church, from
Vancouver to St. John’s, are
sprinkled throughout the book.
Citizenship: Paul on
Peace and Politics
gordon Mark Zerbe
CMu Press, 2012.
276 pp. $26
the separation between Church and State is a cherished value in
North American culture.
From the outset, Zerbe points
out that Paul the Apostle did
Fighter is the fifth album by manafest, a.k.a. Chris Greenwood, a Christian
rapper and rock artist from
The opening thrash metal/fuzz guitar riffs in the title
track are characteristic of the sound throughout almost the
entire album. This gives the songs a dark, heavy atmos-
phere that unfortunately also creates too much sameness
between the tracks. And while there is a band playing
behind the vocals (no samples over drum loops here), it’s
strange the musicians aren’t credited on the album materi-
Bec/Fontana north, 2012.
not live in a culture with such
a value. To start with, religion
was inextricably woven with
politics in the Roman imperial
cult. The Jews also hoped for a
Messiah who would re-estab-lish Jerusalem as the political
centre of the world.
The subtitle reads “Paul on
Peace and Politics.” Those who
pick up this book hoping for
a biblical basis for
involvement in contemporary politics
will be disappointed.
Instead, Zerbe gives
us 12 articles of biblical study on Paul’s
views on living as
citizens worthy of
the gospel of Christ
(see Philippians 1: 27 and 3: 20).
Using Paul’s letters, Zerbe
illustrates Paul’s advice to 1st-
century Christians who stood
between their Jewish faith ancestors and the greater polytheistic Greco-Roman world.
He points out that we have
privatized the Greek word
pistis, usually translated as
“faith.” We have reduced it to
mean cognitive intellectual be-
lief. Zerbe reminds us that for
Paul, pistis meant an unwavering trust in God and a loyal
identification with a new class
of people belonging to the
Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
He divides the book into
three sections – loyalty (Paul on
faith and worship), mutuality
This book can be demanding for readers not normally
engaged in academic dialogue.
That said, it does give a refreshing account of 1st-century Paul.
It also shows us how 21st-cen-
tury Christians have deviated
from his ideas.
als I have seen. Too bad – their contributions are certainly
noteworthy. manafest’s website mentions a long-time
association with Thousand Foot Krutch, but doesn’t actually
identify the group as playing on the album.
Given his strong Beastie Boys, P.o.d. and Linkin Park
influences, it’s not surprising how manafest sounds when he
raps. At the same time, he avoids the profanity and egocentricity of most other rappers. He’s also quite open and
forthright about himself in his lyrics. In “Human” he says, “
‘Cause I wear my heart on my sleeve/If you cut me I’ll bleed.”
(But why is it that this genre always seems to be more about
the artist performing it than about any other subject?)
“never Let You Go” is the first single, and there are
two versions of it on the album – the original and the Joel
Bruyere acoustic remix, the final track. with its toned-down
instrumentation, the remix is actually much stronger and
is easily the best track on the album. A refreshing end that
shows manafest’s softer, more spiritually reflective side.