Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: The Colors of Hope by Richard Dahlstrom

The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love by Richard Dahlstrom  is the co-recipient of the Christianity Today Christian Living Book of the Year Award for 2011.

About the Author
Richard Dahlstrom is pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Washington, and is a conference and Bible college speaker. He is also the author of O2: Breathing New Life into Faith, which was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best Christian books of 2008.

My Thoughts and Review
Based on Micah 6:8, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God," Richard Dahlstrom invites readers to become artisans of hope painting with mercy, justice, and love. We are born to make a difference in this world. More importantly, we Christians are "born again" to make an eternal difference in this world. The book is divided into 3 main parts: Vision (of hope), The Primary Colors (that create hope): justice, mercy, and love, and Creating Art While Life Happens (which means now, not waiting around).

I enjoyed reading Mr. Dahlstrom's first book (O2). I'm glad I had the opportunity to review his new book, The Colors of Hope. The author challenges us to use our God-given passions, skills, and abilities to beautify and bless this broken world in our own unique ways. Christ's followers must intentionally live out their faith and calling as artists, painting colors of hope vividly wherever they are. I appreciate the author's honesty, Biblical insight, and practical advice. It's an excellent read! I highly recommend it.

"I can't keep pretending I live in Disneyland, singing hymns and practicing personal piety while human trafficking steals children's souls, and thirty thousand people die every day of treatable diseases. I can't continue to live 'faith as usual' when I learn how many billions of people are making the same amount of money in a year that I make in three days. If knowing all this doesn't shake you to the core, something's probably wrong with your view of Jesus and the life to which we're invited." (p. 82)

"The colors of hope will be spilled into the world by broken people, living their broken lives in the midst of a broken world. But right there, in the midst of all that pain and suffering, those who have taken up the adventure of spilling hope will find colors of beauty, justice, healing and joy being poured through them onto the canvas of their families, churches, and cities. This is the life to which we're called, the adventure that awaits us as broken, yet deeply loved, artisans of hope." (p. 132)

~ I received 2 free copies of this book from Baker Books in exchange for my honest review.

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