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Rich Christians In An Age Of Hunger Paperback – Apr 12 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: W Publishing Group; Revised Edition edition (March 16 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849945305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849945304
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 626 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Ronald J. Sider, Ph.D., is a professor of theology at Eastern Seminary. He serves as president of Evangelicals for Social Action, and has published more than twenty books.

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Format: Paperback
I first read this book five years ago, and have not been able to look at the world through the same eyes ever since. For fear of treading on theologically "taboo" grounds and/or jeoporadizing contemporary Protestant notions of "salvation," many evangelical Christains have often shied away from concerning themselves with social and ecological issues. However, it is to this neglect that Sider holds Christians accountable in this volume, and I doubt that one could read this book and come out on the other side unaffected in some way.
Though at times this work might err on the side of diatribe, Sider has nevertheless done a fine job of providing statistics, history, and Biblical evidence (see below, however) to support his bold call for Christians of all backgrounds -- and evangelicals in particular -- to be aware of and concerned about the grave economic imbalances that exist between and the consequent injustices resulting from the wealthy and resource-gobbling Western Europe, America, and Japan on the one hand, and the remainder of the developing world on the other. These imbalances and injustices set the stage for a whole host of other specific problems, none of which Sider seems to miss in the enormous amount of statistics gathered and compiled for this project.
A somewhat unfortuante negative of the book has to do with Sider's use of Scripture in support of his message. While one does not have to read too far into the Hebrew Scriptures to find very real concerns for the poor and oppressed, Sider unfortunately tips the scales a bit and might read more of this emphasis back into them than they are willing to offer.
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Format: Paperback
It's about our salvation! I would say this is the basic message of Rich Christians in a Age of Hunger. Sider makes it loud and clear that these two facts are undeniable and inescapalbe. First, God is not passive about economic justice. Just read the 64 passages in The Bible about the liberation of the poor and oppressed and God's love of the poor and oppressed including Matthew 25:40. In addition, poverty and its horrible effects are wide spread in our world today.
Up to now, most of us have been denying the challenges of poverty to avoid feelings of guilt. What we need to do today is remind everyone that economic justice is about compassion not guilt. We can practice our compassion by doing our best to be more generous everyday. In the business world, this is known as "continuous improvement."
Some good companions to this book are Opting For The Poor by P.J. Henriot S.J, How Much Is Enough? by Arthur Simon, and Unexpected News by Robt. M. Brown. These great books inspired me to compile a social ministry manual which is online and free at [...] .
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Format: Paperback
Ron Sider and this book is the main reason why I chose to go to seminary to prepare for the ministry, why I do music ministry among the homeless, and why I chose the Mennonite Church as my home denomination (freedom to focus on issues of compassion in tandem with evangelism). That's the hand of God in all of this. I'm amazed to see some STILL haven't made their peace with scripture's view of materialism and justice for the poor, but I shouldn't be surprised, because Jesus said there definitely would be goats to weed out in the end times!
Just looking over the "attack reviews" here is pretty revealing. One reviewer seethes with anger over the idea of putting others interests ahead of his own. Have you never read Paul? To wit:
Ro 9:3 "For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen by race."
Php 2:3 "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves."
Or how about Jesus:
Mt 16:24 "Jesus told his disciples, 'If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'"
Lu 6:20 "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."
Matt 25:44 "Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' 45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
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Format: Paperback
Despite the over use of the term, I can sincerely call this book "life-changing". It led me to reconsider my relationship with the poor and what that said about my relationship with God. The book should challenge anyone calling themselves a Christian into thinking deeply about materialism and greed. I doubt that anyone living in the US could read this book and not find areas of their lives that need to change.
The author's use of a myriad of statistics and UN reports proves to be the weak point. Although heart stirring, the data slows the book down and complicates reading. Also, until the final section, the book leaves the reader wishing to do something, but not knowing what. Overall, the style of the writing does match up with the quality of the content (which accounts for the missing star in the rating).
Luckily this book concentrates on content. The view of the poor is excellent; the call for repentance is strong; and the suggested solutions are helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone living in an industrialized nation that is trying to imitate Christ.
"'How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!'"
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