Freeing the Oppressed: A Call to Christians Concerning Domestic Abuse

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When Jesus spoke at his local synagogue he boldly proclaimed that he was the one sent to free those who were oppressed. He came to provide hope, peace, and safety to those suffering in the world. When he left this earth, his followers were left with the task of continuing this ministry.

Statistics suggest that in America one in four women has experienced physical violence in an intimate relationship. Dating violence, ...

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Freeing the Oppressed: A Call to Christians Concerning Domestic Abuse

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Overview

Description:
When Jesus spoke at his local synagogue he boldly proclaimed that he was the one sent to free those who were oppressed. He came to provide hope, peace, and safety to those suffering in the world. When he left this earth, his followers were left with the task of continuing this ministry.

Statistics suggest that in America one in four women has experienced physical violence in an intimate relationship. Dating violence, intimate-partner violence, and child abuse rank as some of our nation's largest problems. Men are also being abused by intimate partners, parents, or care providers at increasing rates. The statistic is even more alarming worldwide. Unfortunately, these statistics represent only reported incidents. The rates of verbal, emotional, and spiritual abuse are even higher. In addition, countless women are encouraged by clergy to return to their abusive spouses. The faith community, while called by God to free the oppressed, has been slow to respond to this sin against humanity. Few seminaries offer quality domestic-violence-prevention training for clergy. However, clergy still continue to be sought for help from the community and as advocates for victims of domestic violence. A partnership between the church and community (locally and abroad) is necessary if we wish to transform humans caught in this form of oppression.

In Setting the Captives Free Ron Clark proposed a theology of addressing domestic violence and its application for clergy. Freeing the Oppressed is a book that seeks to condense Clark's previous work into a readable form for those seeking spiritual answers concerning abuse and batterer intervention, and for helpers of those caught in the cycle of family violence. It is also designed as an outreach for those seeking help from the faith community.

Endorsements:
""Thank you Dr. Clark for writing such a thoroughly readable work. Your book sounds the clarion call that many of us working in the field of domestic violence have hoped and prayed the church would hear. It clearly states the problem and the need facing our country, our communities, and our churches. More importantly, it provides a message of hope and a way for the church to touch and be touched by their communities . . . This is a rare gem of a Christian work that I can feel comfortable giving to clergy, victims, perpetrators, or anyone wanting to know how to address family violence.""
--Patricia Warford, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist

""Ron Clark has provided a clear, concise, spiritually-informed, well-researched argument calling Christians to speak out against domestic abuse and to respond compassionately to women, men, and children impacted by its devastating consequences. Every pastor and every seminary student should read Freeing the Oppressed. Clark interweaves his pastoral experience with biblical insights and knowledge of the growing literature in domestic violence. The result: a prophetic call to social action.""
--Nancy Nason-Clark
Professor of Sociology
University of New Brunswick

""Freeing the Oppressed is a wonderful resource for any reader who wishes to learn more about domestic abuse and Christian communities. Beginning with a chapter outlining the dynamics of domestic abuse, Ron Clark provides a chapter-by-chapter journey toward hope and healing for victim/survivors and perpetrators alike and toward greater understanding for those who seek to assist them. Interspersing his personal experiences as pastor, counselor, and educator within each chapter helps to frame the plethora of interrelated issues in a manner that makes them clear and accessible--and interesting--to all readers.""
--Barbara Fisher-Townsend
Co-Editor of Beyond Abuse in the Christian Church: Raising Voices for Change

About the Contributor(s):
Ron Clark is the lead church planter for the Agape Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Setting the Captives Free and is active in community organizations for prevention of domestic violence

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606084847
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 459,495
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Clark

Ron Clark is the lead church planter for the Agape Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Setting the Captives Free and is active in community organizations for prevention of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures vi

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

1 What Is Domestic Violence? 1

2 What Issues Do Those in Abuse Face? 19

3 How Does Domestic Violence Affect Families? 39

4 How Does God Feel about Abuse? 54

5 Is God an Abuser? 66

6 Roadblock 1: Till Death Do Us Part? 77

7 Roadblock 2: Keep It Together for the Children? 101

8 Roadblock 3: Am I Supposed to Be a Victim? 113

9 Is the Church among the Prophets? 129

Bibliography 145

Scripture Index 151

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