Sunday, August 9, 2009

"The Gospel and the Poor", and some good books

Today, Arpita and I watched together this excellent message by Timothy Keller called "The Gospel and the Poor: A Case for Compassion".

Tim Keller: The Gospel and the Poor: A Case for Compassion from Here's Life Inner City on Vimeo.

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.

1 comment:

Juliana Abraham said...

I just finished "Escaping North Korea" by Mike Kim. It's a truly great book. The author was interviewed on a satirical political news show that I enjoy watching when I get a chance. I was very impressed because the author is a Christian and he was being interviewed on a show that caters to a truly diverse group of people, a lot of whom, think Christians are often times nuts. Prior to this book, I didn't really have a knowledge of the situation in NK. It's horrendous. There are 50 countries that Christian NGOs keep on a watch list of persecution against Christians. The author states that NK is no. 1 in terms of the severity of persecution and then there's the other 49. What I find so incredibly poignant is that the current regime in NK is in it's second generation and they have gone to such extreme measures to 'kill' any notion of God and yet the Christian faith prevails in secret and silence. It's truly astounding.

"Families Where Grace is in Place" is a great book and next on my list is, "Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It." I've also become very fond of the author and New Testament theologian, N.T. Wright. Ashish and I are going through his, "Paul for Everyone" series as a type of devotional.

Anyway, I really enjoy reading about what everyone is reading too. It gives me good ideas for what to add to my book list!