Augsburg Fortress

The God Who Riots: Taking Back the Radical Jesus

The God Who Riots: Taking Back the Radical Jesus

For thousands of years, religious messages have been used to either uphold the status quo or upend it. And while we are all very familiar with the kind of conservative Christianity that suppresses liberation and justifies oppression, progressive Christians are just as guilty of upholding unjust systems when we prioritize harmony and unity over justice. True justice requires us to choose sides. True justice requires action. When we look at Scripture, we see that the God of the Bible was never neutral. Again and again God chooses the side of the oppressed. Jesus said the Spirit of the Lord anointed him "to let the oppressed go free," and those of us who claim to follow Jesus today must commit to this radical mission of liberation.

In The God Who Riots, popular YouTuber and public theologian Damon Garcia uses his frank, tell-it-like-it-is style to connect us with the Jesus who flipped tables in the temple and led an empire-destabilizing movement for liberation. The spirit of this God is embodied in today's protests, riots, and strikes. As we join this struggle for liberation, we are joining the God who riots alongside us, within us, and through us.

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  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506480374
  • eBook ISBN 9781506480381
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 194
  • Publication Date August 23, 2022


"Damon Garcia is a narrative theologian who has spent the past few years listening to the people protesting for liberation in the United States. His insights into scripture are profound and desperately needed. In a time of enormous social upheaval, we need voices like Garcia who are prepared to embrace a world where the formerly poor and powerless lead the way to a more just world. This is a must-read for any pastor or minister who hopes to hear the message of the unheard in our society."

D.L. Mayfield, author of The Myth of the American Dream and Unruly Saint: Dorothy Day's Radical Vision and Its Challenge for Our Times

"The God of Christians has been many different things to many people. Often used to justify injustice and abuse, this God has left a sour taste in the mouths of the most marginalized amongst us. But there is also The God Who Riots, the God who Damon speaks in this book, a God who invites us to disrupt systems and create heaven on earth."

Jo Luehmann, host of The Living Room with Jo Luehmann and author of the Decolonizing Traditional Christianity devotional

"Following Jesus is costly, and our work today is to count the cost of what it really means to follow a Brown Palestinian Jew. Living in Babylon and resisting the acceleration of the empire religion of white ChristoFascism, we must seek to get our hands dirty with the everyday and riot alongside God who cares first for the underside of history."

Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, author of Body Becoming and Activist Theology

"In an age of capitalism crises and encroaching climate catastrophe, the work of a genuinely liberatory theology has never been more urgent. Damon Garcia's work provides a much-needed vision of the real good news that lies at the heart of the gospel."

Jon Greenaway, writer and academic, @thelitcritguy

"Damon equips us with the kind of theological paradigm needed to sustain an authentic faith in these times. His words are relevant and accessible to the privileged, the marginalized, and everyone in between. His offering is truly a welcome addition to the canon of liberation theology."

Rev. Aurelia Davila Pratt, author of A Brown Girl's Epiphany

"Damon Garcia shares the real radical message of Jesus--a message where love and liberation are as bright as a burning prison. Wherever you are on your faith journey--whether you're new to Christianity, deconstructing, or a lifelong Christian--this book is for those who want to follow the true radical Jesus."

Mason Mennenga, YouTuber and podcast host of A People's Theology

"With the skill and enthusiasm of your favorite teacher from high school, Garcia takes weighty and serious topics and makes them accessible, learnable, and immediate. If you've wanted to learn about the liberation, decolonization, and abolitionist streams of Christian faith but didn't know where to start, let The God Who Riots invite you in and accompany you toward a radical faith."

Kevin Nye, author of Grace Can Lead Us Home: A Christian Call to End Homelessness

"Often, Christians imagine Jesus as an apolitical figure. But drawing from both Christian scripture and tradition, Garcia introduces us to Christ from a different angle--Jesus isn't leading us toward otherworldly salvation, but instead struggles with us for our liberation from all manner of oppression."

Matt Bernico, The Magnificast


"'The God of the Bible chooses the side of the oppressed," suggests [Damon] Garcia, a former youth minister, in his impassioned debut. Garcia details his efforts to reconcile his progressive values with the political conservatism of the Christian church, and argues that the New Testament calls Christians to radical action... Garcia thoughtfully examines such topics as wealth inequality, LGBTQ rights, and colonialism through a Christian lens, advocating for prison abolition by chronicling the history of white supremacy in the U.S. and expounding on Jesus's promise that the 'last will be first and the first will be last.'"

Publishers Weekly

Exposing the tensions that grip evangelical churches in the US, The God Who Riots is a gripping example of liberation theology; it calls for church reforms, and for Christians to stand with the poor and the oppressed.

Foreword Reviews

"Drawing on intellectual and activist traditions ranging from liberation theology to police abolition, Garcia lays out a spiritual framework for practicing Christianity in a truly transformative way."


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