Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty
I wanted to like it.
The foundation that builds this book is that the reason Christians are not actively pursing the abolishment of global poverty, the reason that we do not believe that conquering poverty is something that CAN happen is because we have low expectations.
Something about that statement just seems to miss the mark.
While I agree that we deny the strength of God, and we are ineffective in our action because we lack the faith that is required to wield this strengthÃ¢ÂÂ¦ I think the author missed one very important fact: a good majority of American Christians do not give a crud about poverty, particularly global poverty. When you hear GodÃ¢ÂÂs people commentate on a personÃ¢ÂÂs choice to pursue child sponsorship or short-term/long-term missions or international adoption with the statement: Ã¢ÂÂWhat about the children here? What about the poor in the USA?Ã¢ÂÂ Then I think you are missing a huge portion of WHY poverty is not on the pulse of American ChristianÃ¢ÂÂs consciences. We donÃ¢ÂÂt care.
While this book has some great chapters: fasting, tithing, fair trade, statistics that are hope filled because of how far we have come, stories of those who do take battling poverty seriously (where are these stories?) and ideas that do reinforce our need to raise our expectations, I think the author misses the mark.
The thing is I REALLY wanted to like this book.
But I think that until the church in America addresses the reasons behind why the Bride of Christ is anemic and asleep we will not be able to attack global poverty. An anemic bride is not a media stunt or a lie we have been told by the doubting world around usÃ¢ÂÂ¦ weÃ¢ÂÂve done a pretty good job of eliminating the Holy Spirit from our lives without the worldÃ¢ÂÂs help.
While it has some deep thoughts and left me with many questions, I think that the bookÃ¢ÂÂs foundational thoughts leave it rocky at best.
I received a review copy of this book from C. Grant & Company.
September 20, 2011
Live Your Faith
The Bible says Christians will be known by their love. This book offers practical ways to show God's love to the world--specifically, to the poorest of the poor.
The topic of extreme poverty feels overwhelming. We tend to imagine that things are bad and getting worse. But in reality, the opposite is true. Things are improving in many ways. The number of people on the planet living in extreme poverty has actually decreased tremendously in the last two decades--and the church has played a key role in that trend.
Author Dr. Scott C. Todd makes an audacious claim in this short but powerful book: the church has the power to end extreme poverty within our lifetime. He points out that in 1981, 52 percent of the worldÃ¢ÂÂs population lived in extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 per day). Today, only 26 percent live in extreme povertyÃ¢ÂÂthe percentage has been cut in half in just 20 years. His statistics were very well-researched, and easy to understand.
Todd also asserts that malaria, measles and other disease rates are dropping dramatically, because of simple interventions like vaccines, mosquito nets and better access to water, education about hygiene and more. Ã¢ÂÂWe should not slump in defeat before an enemy that is already halfway dead,Ã¢ÂÂ he writes.
This book is inspiring. The author challenges readers to get involved in the fight against poverty, and offers clear strategies about how to do so. He outlines small but powerful steps any person, even those who donÃ¢ÂÂt have a lot of resources, can take to make a difference. The author, who works with Compassion International, has clear but thoughtful explanations about why poverty exists and what we can do to change the world. He calls Christians to be generous, to not just be Ã¢ÂÂconcernedÃ¢ÂÂ about the poor, but to take action to help them. Every Christian should read this book, and then visit the related website, www.project58.org, to learn specifics about how they can help.
July 30, 2011