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Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation and the End of Poverty Paperback – September 28, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reorients our mercy ministry around the gospel, seeking to show how a life of love is the overflow of a grace-filled heart."
Trevin Wax, author, Clear Winter Nights

"A solid theological treatment of what poverty really stems from and how to see it within a biblical framework."
Dave Kraft, author, Leaders Who Last

"Aaron Armstrong knows what he's talking about! I highly recommend this book!"
Pete Wilson, Author, Plan B

"...does a stellar job of unpacking the theological issues of this dreadful plight and brings hope to a hopeless topic."
Barry Slauenwhite, President/CEO, Compassion Canada

"...rightly pessimistic about humanistic solutions, brightly optimistic about God's ultimate solution, and practically realistic about the best and most the Church can do in this present age."
David P. Murray, author, Jesus on Every Page

"Tackles the subject of poverty in a biblical, balanced, thought-provoking, & convicting manner!"
Stephen Altrogge, author of The Greener Grass Conspiracy

"Awaiting a Savior is a truly rare book in providing a thoroughly Christian answer to poverty. It both thinks and bleeds."
Josh Howerton, Preaching and Leadership Elder, The Bridge Church, Spring Hill, TN

About the Author

Aaron Armstrong is a writer for an international Christian ministry focused on caring for the needs of the poor, blogger and itinerate preacher. He blogs daily at www.BloggingTheologically.com and his work has appeared on The Gospel Coalition’s “Voices” blog and RelevantMagazine.com’s “Deeper Walk” column. Aaron, his wife, Emily, and their children worship and serve at Harvest Bible Chapel in London, Ontario.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: Cruciform Press (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936760320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936760329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,313,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the October 2011 release from Cruciform Press Aaron Armstrong delivers a quick and concise biblical theology of poverty. A quote taken from the back cover summarizes the main message of the book;

Christians are called to serve the poor...generously, joyfully, by grace, to the Glory of God. But elimination poverty is a misguided and dangerous goal. Poverty is rooted in the fall of man and there is only one savoir.

The books starts by unpacking for us the root cause of poverty. We are not dealing with lack of financial resources, lack of proper education or lack of family support. Poverty is rooted in sin, and as long as sin reigns in our mortal bodies poverty will persist. For me, this was very helpful. To see poverty fundamentally as a spiritual issue and not a material issue helps me focus how I serve the poor in my community. Aaron says: Ultimately, poverty can only be addressed at the heart level, one person at a time, as salvation through the shed blood of Christ pushes back against the fall of man (46-47). And looking back to the end of Chapter 2 he explains that our motives must be nothing other than making God's name great.

A statement that is brought to light in chapter 3 really made me stop and think. Aarons writes, Sin thus not only causes poverty, but also poisons our attitude towards those suffering within it in (46) How often have I been walking downtown and had a homeless person asks me for change and I walk by and ignore them. Sometimes we don't give people in need the time of day, or how often do make a demeaning remark about them to our friends or say nothing when they do. Every person, even the homeless man who takes our money to buy drugs or alcohol needs to Jesus Christ through the Gospel, and our ministry to them must lead them to the Gospel.
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Format: Paperback
Whenever someone brings up the issue of social justice or poverty in a room full of Christians, the room usually splits into one of two camps. One side of the room would support what has become known as a social gospel. They would say our only purpose is to feed someone who is starving, to clothe someone who is freezing, or to provide for someone who is less fortunate. After all, isn't this what Jesus did? I would argue that this is futile living.

The other side of the room would be shaking their heads in disagreement (if not disgust). And because they are so scared of being labeled part of the social gospel, they swing the pendulum so far that they never consider the implications of social ministry upon the Christian. I doubt they would actually say that taking care of the poor has nothing to do with Christianity, they just live like they believe that. I would argue this is Christ-less Christianity.

I have often longed for a balanced voice in the middle of this issue. I think we now have one. Awaiting A Savior by Aaron Armstrong is a new book published by Cruciform Press that deals with the real issues of poverty, but doesn't shy away from calling Christians to do their part. He doesn't waste any time dealing with real issues when he says "the root cause of poverty is sin" (9). That might sound shocking, but he does a great job of explaining what he means by that.

"The basic premise of this book is that our good faith efforts to address legitimate questions of poverty and injustice must never lose sight of the fact that poverty will persist as long as the heart of man is ruled by sin . . .
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If you recall I reviewed When Helping Hurts this last December and was impressed with the practicality provided by it. Awaiting a Savior in contrast would be a theological foundation for dealing with poverty which "is fundamentally a spiritual issue" (p. 20). Aaron connects poverty with the gospel story. He looks at the fall (p. 18 "the fall has made poverty the default setting" emphasis original; p. 22), redemption (p. 45), and consummation (pp. 11, 97) as they relate to poverty. Says Aaron, "The root cause of poverty is sin" (p. 8) and
Therefore, the basic premise of this book is that our good faith efforts to address legitimate questions of poverty and injustice must never lose sight of the fact that poverty will persist as long as the heart of man is ruled by sin. (pp. 9-10).
and lastly
While we are responsible for pursuing biblical solutions to poverty, our only hope for an ultimate solution is in the return of Christ, when he will put an end once and for all to sin, suffering, and death, and bring about the new creation. (p. 11)
You can taste the flavor of Awaiting a Savior through these statements.

What I also appreciate is Aaron's faithfulness in expounding the gospel and making sure the issue of social justice is emphasized in a way which honors the gospel while also not downplaying the importance Scripture places on serving the poor. Let me provide you an example. Aaron says,
Those whose hearts are inclined to the Lord will seek true justice on earth as it is in heaven. Covenant faithfulness always leads to ethical faithfulness. (p. 56 emphasis original)
Such a small phrase but so important--"covenant faithfulness." He connects the issue of poverty and the Christian duty to combat poverty within the larger theme of covenant in Scripture.
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