To Right Every Wrong

Martin Wroe - Greenbelt

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To Right Every Wrong




‘To Right Every Wrong’ started out as a series of personal reflections I was writing about the strange, crazy kind of “call” I felt to be a prophet. For me this was never a “call” to be a special person. The prophet Moses himself once prayed, “Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets.” The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre argued that prophets aren’t special, because in one sense, “all men (sic) are prophets,” and the preacher, Charles Spurgeon, agreed, saying, “we are all at times unconscious prophets.”

For me a “call” to be a prophet was not a “call” to prominence, still less a “call” to popularity. The journalist, Tom Junod, says, “The first thing you learn when you busk in the New York subways: you immediately join the ranks of the marginalised, unhinged prophets,” and the singer Paul Simon points to the fact that, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.”

Let me be clear the kind of prophet I felt called to be was not an exalted rasul in the Islamic tradition, but a humble nabi in the Jewish tradition. This is what my boss at Baptist Community Services, Neville Eckersley—knowing nothing of my “call”— always called me.

The best description of the prophet I felt “called” to be in the Christian tradition is outlined by my friend, the radical, peace activist and priest, John Dear:

First, a prophet is someone who listens attentively to the word of God . . . and then goes into the world to tell the world God’s message. Second . . . in the process, the prophet tells us who God is and what God wants, and thus who we are and how we can become fully human. Third, a prophet . . . sees the big picture— war, starvation, poverty, corporate greed, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction [and] interprets these current realities through God’s eyes, not through the eyes of pundits. . . . Fourth, a prophet takes sides . . . in solidarity with the poor, the powerless, and the marginalized. A prophet becomes a voice for the voiceless. . . . Fifth, prophets . . . call people to . . . create a new world of social and economic justice, which will be the basis for a new world of peace. . . . Sixth, prophets simultaneously denounce and announce. They lay low the obsolete ways of violence and weapons and hold high the alternatives of nonviolence and disarmament.

I hadn’t planned for this project to become a book. I was too embarrassed by the subject to make it a book. But as I wrote, it seemed to grow into a book. It certainly wasn’t intended to be an autobiography or a history of the groups I’ve been involved with, as it’s far too selective, partial and incomplete. I beg forgiveness of the many people who have played an important part in my life who never get the mention they would deserve in a proper autobiography or history of those groups.

The structure that seems to have emerged is series of reflections in three parts—the personal, the prophetical and the paradoxical. The personal part explores my own experience of spirituality and my shared experience of spirituality with my wife, Angie. The prophetical part explores my embrace of the prophetic call I felt and the four roles through which I have expressed that prophetic call: as an interrogator, a protester, a practitioner and an inspirator. The paradoxical part explores my making and my unmaking as a prophet, first accepting and then rejecting some of the more confrontational prophetic roles that I’ve played in order to assume a more caring pastoral role in my community and the wider society.

The style is idiosyncratic. Some may say it is an eccentric mixture of the styles—prose, poetry and song—that I have used for my reflections. My friend Malcolm Doney says it is “part manifesto, part memoir, and part compilation album.”


“Reading ‘To Right Every Wrong’ is like finding some lost compilation tapes by Bob Dylan and discovering a treasure trove of new versions of his greatest hits, lost gems, and some fresh material. Dave Andrews, the original Christi-anarchist, reflects on a lifetime of living among and serving the poor, and calling others to join him, and the result is operatic! A must for those who haven’t been introduced to Dave’s work before, and a joy to those of us who have drawn inspiration from him for decades.”

Missiologist, Morling College, and author of Keep Christianity Weird

“It’s not every day one has the pleasure of encountering someone who has lived passionately, consistently, and courageously in the way of Jesus, but Dave Andrews is one of those people. ‘To Right Every Wrong’ offers a rollicking series of stories, insights, and observations about following Jesus in the world sure to inspire any sincere seeker into deeper discipleship. Dave’s story, like his life, is wonderfully all over the place, literally and figuratively, as he and his wife, Angie, seek solidarity with the poor . . . while engaging in an endless, energetic campaign of writing, speaking, breaking bread, and confronting injustice, in the world and in themselves. Rarely has the risky, dangerous life of authentic discipleship . . . [been done] ‘with such grand gusto’!”

Author of “Come Out, My People”: God’s Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond

“’To Right Every Wrong’ is an encyclopedia of Dave’s praxis: the sources shaping his own distinctive thinking along with a litany of examples of his activities arising from these ideas. If you want to understand what’s inspired, shaped, and sustained Dave over his life, read this book. We met Dave and Angie in 1978 in India as they began developing community in Delhi with Indian nationals. Lynden and I were in our early idealistic twenties, exploring our own life vocation. Their welcome, vision, ideas, and commitment to living Jesus’s kingdom life were compelling, encouraging, challenging, and transformational for us. Some forty years later, this continues to be so.”

Leadership Coach and Facilitator, Oasis People & Culture

“This book is classic Dave Andrews. . . . In it, Dave Andrews shares his thoughtful plea to follow Jesus . . . with a touching, reflective, extra personal touch. It is a great way to get to know Dave further—his life, his priorities, his struggles, and his mission—to live by the Christian anarchism he has been preaching. The numerous stories from his inspirational life are shared with confessional frankness, giving a vivid illustration of his efforts to take on the role of a modern prophet.”

Author of Christian Anarchism: A Political Commentary on the Gospel

“I loved reading Dave’s story. Christians have struggled with the question of what it really means to follow Jesus. Secular people observing what Christians do have scratched their heads and asked the same question. Readers will find in Dave Andrews’s life story an answer. And it is inspiring.”

Senior Fellow, Centre for Public Christianity, and author of A Lot With A Little

“I thought I knew Dave well . . . a man deeply devoted to living his life as a follower of Jesus, dedicated to service to others. . . . However, reading ‘To Right Every Wrong’ provided me a deeper insight into his calling to be a prophet . . . who showed me, a devout Muslim woman, what it means to deeply love God by relating to others, and to live that love passionately and compassionately in today’s quite often troubled world.”

Chair of Islamic Relief, Australia, and AMARAH

“’To Right Every Wrong’ gives you the best chance you’ll get to see . . . what’s it like to have a pudgy Gandhi or aging Jesus . . . who saved the lives of so many—as he did mine—lounging on your sofa. I dare you to read it.”

Author of Act 3: The Art of Growing Older

“If there is such a thing as a ‘page turner’ that ‘reads itself ’ this book is it! The many autobiographical anecdotes make this book so accessible. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a couple of days. By looking back in the autumn of his life, Andrews offers nuggets of wisdom mined from practical lived experience to other would-be ‘improbable prophets.’ ‘To Right Every Wrong’ is engaging, challenging, and inspiring.”

Senior Lecturer, Christian Heritage College, Brisbane, Australia

“It was Socrates who asserted that an unexamined life is not worth living. Dave Andrews’s frank examination of his own life story is highly instructive to all those who wrestle with questions of finding meaning in life within a faith-based framework. His book is replete with penetrative insights accumulated over a lifetime rich with varied experiences across cultures, religions, and continents. He has sincerely embodied the prophetic call to live compassionately, thereby transforming communities for the better.”

Senior Lecturer Study of Islam and Society, Senior Fellow, Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Understanding, Griffith University, Australia

“The making of a prophet is always in risky obedience to the prompting of the Spirit of God. Prophetic calling is both prophetic announcement and prophetic manifestation. Dave Andrews’s book ‘To Right Every Wrong’ is an honest recollection of the journey of a prophet where the messenger is always the message. A must-read for anyone who feels the urge of a prophetic calling.”

Theologian, pastor, mentor, and former Director of EFICOR, India

“Dave Andrews is one of the present-day prophets in the world today. In ‘To Right Every Wrong’ he has captured his prophetic journey from a place of deep reflection. He is a wonderful storyteller and has taken great care to make sure that the reader feels included in his story. It is wonderful to see the acknowledgement of his wife Angie’s influence on his life and their journey together over the years. Dave Andrews has been a ‘prophetic inspirator’ to a generation of people in India, many of whom have led community organizations which are based on Jesus hospitality, love, and justice.”

Executive Director, Christian Coalition for Health, India

“Dave Andrews, in his new book To Right Every Wrong, describes a lifelong call to the role of the prophet. I was bothered by Dave’s self-identification as a prophet. Calling oneself a prophet smacks of . . . arrogance. But by the end of the book I thought Dave had proved his case through his stories about prophetic action and self-reflection. Dave identifies as an Anabaptist that claims, ‘Jesus is the centre of our faith, Community is the centre of our life, and Reconciliation is the centre of our work.’ Dave’s life story demonstrates his commitment to these three faith statements. Being an Anabaptist puts Dave on the margins of the church and society where prophets often thrive.”

Pastoral Worker, Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand

“Growing up in a caring family, with an equally radical, compassionate wife, Angie, and a faith that holds on tightly to Jesus, Dave practises what he preaches, prophetically challenging many to rethink the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth to be disciples and speak and act compassionately.”

Pastor, Senior Director of Communication and Prison, Drugs, and AIDS, Malaysian Care

“Any encounter with Dave Andrews leaves one both deeply inspired and yet profoundly unnerved. Inspired because Dave is a person willing to put his body on the line for the cause of Jesus. Unnerved because one can never quite put this man in a neat little box—he blows your categories. Not surprisingly, reading this book has a similar effect.”

Founder of Movement Leaders Collective, Forge Missional Training Network, and 5Q Collective

“Told in the language of prophets, Dave’s latest book explores the radical compassion our world needs right now to find peace.”

Author of Warrior Poets and director of Jirga

“It was a complete joy to read this book. I couldn’t put it down. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always honest and sincere. Dave and Angie have literally spent a lifetime in service of others. Through his unique approach, Dave has changed the hearts and minds of many, in all parts of the world, people of all backgrounds. This book gives a beautiful snapshot of his colorful life and his open-hearted approach to it. Enjoy the ride!”

Muslim community educator and activist, United Kingdom

“Dave has the vision of a prophet. The book offers us an insight into his own self-reflective wrestling to make sense of his call. One cannot help but be transformed by his gracious challenge to all of us to re-embrace gospel fidelity. My favorite part of the book caught me by surprise. I was about ready to close the book, but then found the epilogue and thought I’d better read it. It was so beautiful and finishes with reminding us that it is all about the love of God as revealed in Jesus.”

Anglican Bishop of Wellington, New Zealand