Today, Arpita and I watched together this excellent message by Timothy Keller called "The Gospel and the Poor: A Case for Compassion".
I thought this was a very comprehensive talk, and very thought provoking.
Tim Keller speaks about how ministries of the word and of deed cannot be separated, and how the two are so closely linked in the Bible. He makes a convincing case that the way a person was judged righteous in Biblical times was on the basis of his attitude towards his wealth, and his sense that he should use his wealth for others. He says, "In the Bible, the word "poor" includes the weak, the elderly, the mentally and physically handicapped, the refugees, the new immigrants, the working poor, the natural disaster victims, the unemployed, the single-parent families, and the orphans." and speaks about the differences between the conservative and liberal sides to the debate on how the problem of poverty should be handled (the conservatives use the term "Ministries of Mercy" while the liberals use the term "Ministries of Justice", for example) and about how both views were in the Bible, both were true, but not wholly true, and each needed the other view to complement it. He talks about the three ways the church needs to act towards the poor (relief, development, and reform), and why all three are needed.
All in all, a very good message, and I would encourage each of you to try and watch it. The video is slightly long (about 73 mins), because it contains the message first, followed by a question and answer session....worth downloading and watching when free.
(HT: Here's Life Inner City via Between Two Worlds)
It was good to hear this message at this time, especially because I am halfway through a book called Ministries of Mercy: The Call of the Jericho Road, also written by Tim Keller. This book was gifted us by Jeff and Janet Leman (at Herbertpur), and has been quite an eye-opener.
By the way, I thought it would be interesting to know what each of us are reading these days. I tried to activate a program called shelfari for the blog, that would display a shelf of all the books the owners of the blog are reading, but it didn't seem to work out. Anyway, just so you know, one of the other books I am reading is "Systemic Theology" by Wayne Grudem, which is a really interesting book on theology, and not at all as boring as I might have expected. I thought it would be a good idea to study the Bible, and the Biblical basis for some of the doctrines I hold on to. Each chapter deals with what the Bible says about a topic, and ends with a passage from the Bible that could be memorised about that doctrine, suggested further reading, and an old hymn about that doctrine. This book is now available in India, as an Indian hardback edition, and, again, was gifted us by Jeff and Janet Leman.
In addition, as I wrote earlier, I am halfway through "When I don't desire God: How to Fight for Joy" by John Piper. You can find the free online version of this book by clicking on the title of this book above.
Another book I have just finished reading is "Autobiography of a One Year Old" by Rohan Candappa. This book was gifted to us by Ashita and is a hilarious look at the world as seen through the eyes of a one year old.
So, do write in with your reviews of what you are reading these days.