Christians and a Land Called Holy: How We Can Foster Justice, Peace, and Hope

Article excerpt

Christians and a Land Called Holy: How We Can Foster Justice, Peace, and Hope

By Charles P. Lutz and Robert O. Smith, Fortress Press, 2006, 168 pp. List: $15: AET: $12.

Reviewed by Rebecca Baldwin

BECAUSE IT IS A very approachable book, Christians and a Land Called Holy might best be used to educate those who lack a background in the religious aspects of the conflict in the Holy Land. The authors deftly evoke the centrality of this place to the Abrahamic faiths, quoting Donald Bridge, who explained, "You cannot take a taxi or climb off a bus or go for a stroll...without stopping at some physical spot and saying 'God did this HERE...it happened HERE. Not because the places carry some sort of aura of holiness or grace but because our faith depends on things that God said and did in particular places at a certain time.'"

As the title indicates, Lutz and Smith view Christian involvement as the untapped mediator in the region. But life under occupation has greatly disrupted the livelihoods of Palestinian Christians. Those who remain are often described as the Holy Land's "Living Stones. …