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Redefining Social Justice: Juan Martinez in Sojourners on Personal Salvation, Social Justice, and the Latino Church

Juan Martinez Sojourners

“You cannot be a Latino pastor and not address the undocumented, not address the school system, not address salaries in urban or rural environments,” says Juan Martínez, vice president of diversity and international ministries at Fuller Theological Seminary. “It hits you in the face everyday and we have to address the consequences.”

So run the comments of Dr. Martínez in the latest issue of Sojourners magazine. A magazine built around inspiring Christians to put their faith into action to transform the world, Sojourners addresses the major pressure points of Latino and Latinachurch communities in their December 2015 issue. To tackle that task, they use the framing comments of Martínez.

The former director of Fuller’s Centro Latino, Martínez has long been a leading voice in the Latino church. The Sojournersarticle makes that clear; his comments are frequently quoted and used to initiate many points of discussion.

Martínez’s main contribution to the bilingual article is in helping redefine social justice in evangelical churches. He grew up with his father advocating for justice but fearing that the label of “social justice” would unmoor the church’s commitment to personal salvation and relationship to Jesus Christ. Martínezdoes not share his father’s concern, but recognizes that God’s mission is big enough to handle both the injustices of the world and the call for all to repent and be saved. This commitment helps set the tenor for the rest of the article.

Read the full article in Sojourners here.

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