Archives For Poverty

 

Jesus, Messiah of the Poor

 

A Feature Review of

Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor
Liz Theoharis

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  

 

Reviewed by Joseph Johnson

 

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared in his famous speech “A Time to Break Silence” that, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” I think these words, challenging as they are, express the conviction that undergirds the efforts of Liz Theoharis in her timely new book, Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor. Her contention is that Matthew 26:11, one of the most influential passages on poverty in Scripture, has often been twisted out of context in order to give red-lettered justification for viewing poverty as inevitable and pitting Jesus in opposition to the poor (13, 97). In her eyes, these conclusions have obviously damaging consequences.

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We Cannot Wait Till Tomorrow

A Review of

The Great Chasm: How to Stop Our Wealth from Separating Us from the Poor and God.
Derek Engdahl

Servant Partners Press, 2015.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 
Reviewed By Paul D. Gregory
 
 

People read books for various reasons. Maybe you read romance novels to be “swept away to a distant land.” Or maybe you enjoy a book that is set in the mountains and is wet with beautiful imagery of mountain peaks, blue skies and crisp clean air. Still others may enjoy stories with happy endings because they like to imagine themselves in the heroine’s role (wouldn’t everyone love to be Tom Cruise at the end of the movie Jerry Maguire). And still others read books hoping to find answers to life’s big questions.

There is a good chance that you will not be fond of the message contained in Derek Engdahl’s The Great Chasm. There’s an even better chance that you will not enjoy some of the imagery he uses to describe the slums of Manila, Haiti or Mexico. And many of you won’t be thrilled to read about servant living and/or the importance of giving up things we don’t need. And many readers will finish Engdahl’s book with a nagging pain in their side, as they acknowledge their own failure to have compassion for those in need.

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If Neighborhoods Are Destabilized

 
A Feature Review of 

Evicted:
Poverty and Profit
in the American City

Matthew Desmond

Hardback: Crown Books, 2016
Buy:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Kristin Williams
 
 
When the housing market was as close to the bottom as it would get, my husband was offered a perfect job in another state.  Our only hesitation came when we looked around the small town we would be leaving and saw many homes for sale or standing empty and very little movement in the market.  Thinking we could wait until the market rebounded, we decided try renting our house for a while.  Today, nearly 8 years later, we are still renting our house out and still learning exactly what that means.

It was from the perspective of a landlord that I picked up Matthew Desmond’s devastating new book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.  Desmond, a Harvard sociologist and recipient of a MacArthur Grant, combines personal insight gained during years living in inner city Milwaukee and data collected as part of his Milwaukee Area Renters Study to create an eye opening portrait of poverty and racial inequality.  These problems are not unique to Milwaukee, they can be found in every large American city.

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Toward the Health and
Well-Being of all People

 
A Review of 

Upholding the Vision: Serving the Poor in Training and Beyond
CCHF
Foreword by John Perkins

Paperback: 3rd Edition, 2016
Buy now:  [  Amazon ]
 
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
 
The Hebrew prophets described the flourishing that God intends for creation as shalom, which we could today translate as health in the deepest and most holistic sense.  And nowhere is the lack of shalom more evident today than some of the most broken and economically-deprived places.  We would do well to work toward to health and shalom of these places.  Indeed, the Christian Community Health Fellowship (CCHF) has been working toward this end for almost 40 years, and they have just released the third edition of their helpful book Upholding the Vision, which articulates why working for the health of our poorer neighbors is vital, Kingdom work.

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Poverty and Hunger
Beyond the Clichés

A Review of

Under the Sour Sun: Hunger Through The Eyes Of a Child
Elmer Hernán Rodríguez Campos

Paperback: Live Solidarity Media, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Tim Hoiland

 

I’m sure you know the line: “They have so little, but they’re so happy!” How many times have you heard a variation of that? How many times have you said it yourself?

 

The truth is, for those of us who live on more than $2 a day – that is, for everyone who reads the Englewood Review of Books – it is decidedly difficult to talk about poverty without the conversation quickly devolving into cliché.

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Video of a talk that Gary Haugen gave about his excellent new book:
 

The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence
Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros

Hardback:  Oxford UP, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
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Here are 5 Free Ebooks for Kindle that are worth checking out:

These were taken from Amazon’s Kindle Bestsellers List.

For most of these, I have no idea when (or if) the book will cease to be free…

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Next Book

The Twenty-Piece Shuffle: Why the Poor and Rich Need Each Other

By Greg Paul

Greg Paul believes that the rich, the impoverished, and everyone in between can learn much from each other if they’re willing to walk together. Join Greg as he takes a look at a remarkable paradox, where the poor can miss their blessedness while the wealthy overlook their own desperate needs, and reveals why God has always called the wealthy and powerful to care for people who are poor or excluded.

Contact us and let us know if this ebook is no longer free…

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Gwendolyn Brooks

Tomorrow, June 7, is the birthday of the poet Gwendolyn Brooks.  Here are two of my favorite poems of hers:

*** Tomorrow is also the birthday of Nikki Giovanni.
***Read her poem: The Funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr

Two extraordinary African-American women poets both born on the same day!!!

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Close to People Suffering

A Feature Review of

In the Company of the Poor:
Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez


Michael Griffin and Jennie Weiss Black, Editors
Paperback, Orbis Books, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by James Stambaugh

 

The official story of liberation theology is that its time has come and gone; that it was a crypto-Marxist movement which fizzled out long ago; a relic of the social upheavals of the 1960s and 70s.

Readers of In the Company of the Poor: Conversations with Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez must conclude, however, that the official story is wrong.  Liberation theology never fizzled out.  It stands to this day in a tradition that extends back to the teachings of Jesus.  In some ways the book is a tribute to, and a retrospective of the authors’ lives and work, but it also effectively argues for the vitality and relevance of liberation theology today.

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
Contact us, and we’ll talk about the possibility of a review.

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Next Book

Claire of the Sea Light: A Novel
By Edwidge Danticat

Listen to an NPR interview with the author

*** Other Books by Edwidge Danticat