If you are stuck for a Christmas present for your Christian friends, vicar or minister I can recommend this book I've just been reading.
It's an excellent account by two charismatic evangelicals of poverty in Britain today and attitudes towards the poor. It grounds the study in real life experience which emerges when churches and community projects set out to meet local needs, in the history of Welfare provision in the UK, in analysis of popular media portrayals of poverty and in a survey of Christians' perceptions and attitudes towards the poor. Sadly but perhaps unsurprisingly these seem to correlate more closely with the newspaper people read than with the Biblical narratives. The authors set out a "biblical case for radical mercy" dips into the extensive Biblical material (concentrating on the gospel accounts of Jesus) and ends with a call to action involving simplicity, generosity, proximity, community, strategy and expectancy in prayer and faith for the miraculous. It's a short book of just over 100 pages and if there is a weakness it is that it does not grasp the nettle of engaging in political action and whether or how poor communities can get organised to struggle for their voices to be heard and to establish justice for their communities. Nonetheless it's really good to see this level of understanding and engagement with the people and the issues from this section of the church and should be on every Christian's reading list.
If you would rather or also hear a podcast of a seminar by one of the authors (Natalie Williams) follow this link http://www.jubilee-plus.org/Articles/418650/Jubilee_Plus/Conference_Presentations/SEMINAR_CTCC_2014.aspx
A Christian response to poverty in Britain today
When you think of poverty in Britain today, do you picture innocent children going without food or scroungers lounging on the sofa all day watching TV and cheating on benefits claims?
For Christians, what we think about the poor in our nation needs to be shaped by biblical values, but can so often be framed by the dominant narratives of the day, which affect our attitudes and actions.
Have we fallen for the myth of the undeserving poor?
|TITLE:||The Myth Of The Undeserving Poor|
|AUTHORS:||Martin Charlesworth & Natalie Williams|
|TYPESET & PRINTED:||Grosvenor House Publishing Limited|
|PUBLICATION DATE:||October 2014|
|RETAIL PRICE:||£7 for book. £5 for e-book|
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