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Louder Than Words: action for the 21st century church

Darton Longman and Todd 2007
RRP: $32.95

In the foreword, Ann Pettifor writes ‘This book inspires, leads and instructs. Above all it is a practical route map for those serious about applying their principles to worldly affairs. It will help many rise to the challenges facing us all.’

Bradstock’s background is that he was Secretary for Church and Society in the United Reformed Church in the UK and as he worked with agencies, government, business and other faith traditions he really understood the potential that churches have to make a difference in the world.

Louder Than Words contains many stories of ways in which the church has made a difference, and while these are from the UK there seems no reason why they cannot be ‘Australianised’.

Bradstock calls for churches to be specific and positive in what we say and do, to tackle the roots of the evils we confront and not merely the symptoms and to never lose hope that changes can be achieved. He cites the ending of the slave trade and apartheid as reminders that mountains do move.

There is a listing of websites and ‘reading and resources’ relating to each chapter, an index of biblical references, and six pages of Index making it easy to search for specific topics and individuals within the chapters – War and Terror, Climate change, Making Poverty History, Making Poverty History Here and Faith and Fear.

There are quotes galore – ‘….how futile a ‘war on terrorism’ is without at the same time a war on poverty and injustice’, it is fair trade not free trade that is needed [free trade pushes down the global price of commodities to the disadvantage of small producers]; God demands from us real change not just small change; real peace comes only through understanding and reconciliation; peace is an inner change toward other people, respect for the way they think and live.

Ann’s foreword is right about Louder Than Words!

Reviewed by Bob Warrick, retired minister and valuable member of the Journey team.