The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love

Baker, 2011
ISBN: 9780801013560


It’s time for a fresh vision of the Christian life as a creative adventure. The Christian life should be guided by the intentional goal of blessing the lives of the friends, loved ones, and strangers in our midst. We are called to impact a culture that is overwhelmingly preoccupied with personal peace, prosperity, protection, and survival. Christians should be artists who paint with the colors of hope in a broken world, embodying Christ’s redemptive presence in our personal lives, our work, and our relationships.

This inspiring and practical book offers tools for living out this vision in daily life, with special attention given to the challenges we face in staying focused on the mission of imparting hope to others even while dealing with our own personal issues. Anyone who wishes to have an impact on the world will cherish this unique book.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Uses the metaphor of color and art to show how God works within life and how he wants to use believers
  • Discusses how to be active participants in God’s redemptive work
  • Utilizes Scripture and vibrant examples to inspire Christians to impact the culture around them


  • Part One: Vision
    • Faith Art: Cure for the Common Consumer
    • Canvas: The Art of Waking Up
    • Subject Matters: The Art of God’s Reign
    • Own or Rent: Gaining Perspective
  • Part Two: The Primary Colors
    • Do Justice: The Horrible Sounds of Silence
    • Mercy Mountaineers: The Challenge of Lovingkindness
    • Intimacy: Cosmic Mentoring and Empowerment
    • Pastel Fantasy: God’s Use of Deep Colors
  • Part Three: Creating Art While Life Happens
    • The Artist’s Identity: Finding Your Voice
    • Overcoming Failure: Finding Our Way to the Land of Grace
    • Obstacles and Resistance: The Artist as Warrior
    • Change: Grappling with the Preacher of Chair 8
    • Art in the Garden: So Sow . . .

Praise for the Print Edition

In The Colors of Hope, Richard Dahlstrom brings a welcome call to a biblical faith that calls us beyond ourselves and the polarized debates in our society. He invites us to discover the unique ways God can use our lives and paintbrushes to bring the colors of compassion, justice, and celebration to a world hungry to find a little hope. We in Seattle are glad to share Richard Dahlstrom’s prophetic voice with Christians throughout our society who want to take Scripture seriously in their lives, churches, and in our troubled world.

—Tom Sine, founder, Mustard Seed Associates

Revolutions begin among artists—our poets, painters, storytellers, and musicians. The Colors of Hope marks Richard Dahlstrom as a revolutionary. Passionately, deftly, Dahlstrom urges us to embrace our calling as artisans of hope. This is the soothing voice and the relevant message that this noisy, weary world needs.

—Karen Spears Zacharias, author, speaker, and journalism instructor

If we truly believe in the resurrection of Christ, we believe in this good news not only for the annual Easter weekend, but we believe that God has risen and is at work every day. But more important, we choose not to be bystanders but to be active participants in God’s redemptive work. This is what this compelling book is all about. Richard Dahlstrom reminds us that cynicism and hopelessness are not going to change the world. But neither will nebulous idealism. We have to become people of mercy, justice, and love. In short, we have to be ‘artisans of hope.’

—Eugene Cho, pastor and founder, One Day’s Wages

Anyone who’s followed Jesus for a while has seen gray areas, when vibrant faith fades into the drudgery of religion. Richard Dahlstrom, one of the brightest and best communicators Christianity has to offer right now, calls us out into fulfilling our role as creators; artists sent to splash the world with meaningful, gorgeous color. It’s a lot better than moping around waiting for Armageddon.

—Jordan Green, director, Burnside Writer’s Collective

The hard work of the artist is to take simple materials and make them into something beautiful and resonant to the human condition. In much the same way, so is being involved in the restoring works of Jesus Christ. Richard deftly connects these journeys and shows us that the call to follow after Christ is a journey of creating: imagining the kingdom he is talking about and then following in his footsteps, and we communally create that together. I know that Richard isn’t just speaking of these ideas, but is actually living them out in the communities he is a part of around the world. I am one who has been inspired by his friendship and journey. It was a joy to read this book.

—Scott Erickson, professional artist

Product Details

  • Title: The Colors of Hope: Becoming People of Mercy, Justice, and Love
  • Author: Richard Dalhstrom
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Christian Group: Evangelical
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Ministry Resources

About Richard Dalhstrom

Richard Dahlstrom is pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Washington, and is a conference and Bible college speaker. He is also the author of O2: Breathing New Life into Faith, which was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best Christian books of 2008.


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