Friday, November 02, 2007

Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger

Voted by Christianity Today as one of the Top 100 Religious Books of the Century (the last century that is; now in its 5th edition), Rich Christian’s in an Age of Hunger not only describes the problem—30,000 children dying every day from starvation and preventable diseases and a billion of our neighbors in extreme poverty—but also plots a path of action. The author, Ron Sider, is currently the president of Evangelicals for Social Action.

Action. Peter said to “prepare your minds for action,” (1 Peter 1:13). Reading this book does just that. Read it. Then act. Then give it to someone else to read.

Part 1 describes the state of the world.
Part 2 covers the biblical teachings on the poor and possessions.
Part 3 analyzes the causes of poverty, both personal and structural.
Part 4 discusses how to make the world a better place. Actions are lumped into three progressively larger categories—personal (e.g., lifestyles of simplicity & generosity), church (e.g., community development & building programs), and global (e.g., the environment & foreign policy relating to trade and aid).

I appreciated that Ron was sensitive to environmental issues while addressing the social, spiritual and economic needs of our world. I also appreciated his balanced analysis and radical call to action. Seriously, read this book. Just don’t get bogged down in chapter 8 and miss chapter 9.

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