J4R Book Preview: Foreword by Michael Mata

Good morning, friends!  It's an exciting time for us.  We are so excited that Jesus for Revolutionaries, the book, is now here! Thanks for journeying with us over the past year as we've vetted J4R with you. Your support and feedback has meant so much to us. Pick up your free copy of the E-book, or a paperback copy on Lulu.com today!   http://bit.ly/1cII3y0     Please help us spread the word!

Get your Kindle E-book or paperback version on Amazon!  Amazon made me charge 99 cents for the Kindle version.  Please let Amazon know that the e-book is available for free on Lulu.com so that they will bring down the price and make it free on Kindle!   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jesus%20for%20revolutionaries%20robert%20chao%20romero

Over the next few months we'll be previewing J4RPlease check out the Foreword below...It's by Rev. Michael Mata, who is a Chicano pioneer of Community Development and Community Organizing in Los Angeles.  He was also recently honored as the PBS SoCal "Champion of Change."  Here's a video from PBS about him:  http://video.pbssocal.org/video/2365069091/  Thanks Michael for your foreword and the special impact you make in Los Angeles for Jesus.

   Image:  http://fulleryouthinstitute.org/images/made/assets/fyi-files/2008/07/mata_300_150_s_c1.jpg



I went off to college excited about the possibilities of what higher education could afford me and full of ideas I wanted to explore about life.  Some of those ideas were about understanding what God had to say concerning the conditions of the neighborhoods or barrios in which I lived -- with all the attendant challenges facing marginalized communities.  However I was saddened that the issues of poverty, lack of affordable housing, under-resourced schools, discrimination, etc. were not the issues that concerned my fellow Christian classmates (I attended a Christian college).  I felt that God must have something to say, but I was hard-pressed to find anyone in my circle of relationships (even amongst my professors) to enlighten or encourage me.  I was disheartened to the point of contemplating that my social concerns would have to be something adjunct to my faith.  I wished then that I had access to a book like Jesus for Revolutionaries, to let me know that what I felt in my heart and experienced in life were indeed of central concern to God.  I finally got there but it was through much toil and sweat (I ended up with degrees in Biblical Literature, Religion and Theology).... and prayer.  Prof. Robert Chao Romero’s book would have challenged me, inspired me and, above all, confirmed and strengthened my faith in a God who cares deeply for all of creation.

To be upfront and clear, Jesus of Revolutionaries: An Introduction to Race, Social Justice and Christianity is a biased book -- biased toward a God who is fiercely interested in the welfare of those on the fringes of society, whatever their status.  As an avid student of the Bible, Romero uses his training as lawyer, puts on his hat of a historian and leans on his love of Jesus to provide the reader with a set of lenses to see that justice is integral to God’s eternal plan for the world -- yesterday, today and tomorrow. Romero is unequivocal and passionate about his belief in a just God.

As personal as believing in God is, it is not for Romero a private enterprise. It is a belief that is fueled by a faith that is to be lived out in the public arena of life.  With the newspaper in one hand, he lifts up current issues that negatively affect the well-being of people of color, and with the Bible on the other hand, he points us to the sacred text that demonstrates a divine mandate to right the inequities in our society, correct our dehumanizing actions to the “least of these.”  Romero is provocative and even prophetic in his exegesis, to be sure, but nothing less is expected from a revolutionary. More importantly, he is putting forth a clarion call to act, to be agents of justice in a world that is desperate for it.   In short, this book is a manifesto of what it means to be a follower of Jesus in a consumption-oriented, violent-prone, polarized world.

Far from being utopian or even sectarian in his approach, Romero invites his readers to engage the process of transformation in very practical ways.  He provides a rich trove of resources: links to organizations of all types, books, films, individuals, etc.  He identifies helpful networks with which to align oneself.  No one needs to go at it alone.  In fact, the book provides study questions to ponder with others, in small groups as well as part of personal retreat.  These are tools which I wished I had when I felt the Spirit, back in my college days, nudging me to join a movement to make this a better the world, to bring into fruition the Kindom (sic) of God, to be a revolutionary for Jesus!

Rev. Michael Mata

Community Transformational Specialist

Compassion Creates Change

J4R BookRobert Romero