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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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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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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: #283,261 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.

Customer Reviews

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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
Sider presents us with a problem as Christians. We are filthy rich while others are extremely poor. While some will call this book "liberal" and "socialist," the best word for it is orthodox. One of the best points Dr. Sider makes is that while we try desperately to be theologically orthodox (and he is), in our actions we are heretics. The book of Acts describes the system of the early Christians regarding money quite well. The were essentially communists, but most importantly they shared and didn't care for material possesions. The same is true of the early Christians, they would take literally Jesus' words "Sell everything you have and give to the poor..." Sider's facts are shocking as to how poor suffering souls are over the world. The basic premise of this book is to show the extreme poverty of most of the world, and then show the Bible's opinion on this. He is a prophet against materialism and I like his style. He supports capitalism as I do, but he believes we as Christians are just as materialistic as the non-Christians. It was Jesus himself who said "Its easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." Finally a book that does not confuse Biblicism with conservative economics.
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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
Ronald Sider's classic Christian Social Action book still (after 20-something years) convicts the Western conscience and offers practical suggestions to living a life-style that is different from the world. In a time period where there seems to be very few ministers who are willing to speak against the unpopular social evils of our society Dr. Sider's book stands out as a message of truth. Instead of fearing the result of telling "Rich Christians" (which most of us are within America) that they (we) have to live different if they are going to follow the commands of their Lord, Sider speaks this message boldly. This book is not an easy read, in that I was convicted of my own failings as I read each chapter. Yet, this book has a message that is very important for Christians to understand. We have to live lifestyles to take care of the needy. We have to put their needs before our own. If you want to hear a message that will change what you mean by loving your brother (change it from a love of word to a love of deed) then you need to read this book.
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