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Rich Christians In An Age Of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity (20th Anniversary Revision) Paperback – July 23, 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Rich Christians In An Age Of Hunger is written for our times, when every day more than 34,000 children die of starvation and preventable diseases, and 1. 3 billion human beings live in relentless, unrelieved poverty worldwide. Why is there still so much poverty in the world? Conservatives blame sinful individual choices and laziness. Liberals condemn economic and social structures. Who is right? Who is wrong? Both, according to Ronald Sider in this newly revised, expanded and updated edition of Rich Christians In An Age Of Hunger. Sider explains that poverty is the result of complex causes, and then he presents practical, workable proposes for change, proposals that should be taken up by every man and every woman who seeks to deserve the title "Christian" and to apply and to follow the teaches of Jesus of Nazareth in the modern world. -- Midwest Book Review

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Word Publishing; 20 Anv edition (July 23, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849914248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849914249
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,596,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Bennett VINE VOICE on January 18, 2000
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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By A Customer on January 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Many conservative reviewers would like to essentialize Ron Sider with ad hominem attacks like "liberal" or the ever popular slander "socialist." However these labels do not do justice to the complexity of Sider's argumentation.
Even if one disagrees with the last section of his book (his policy proposals), one certainly cannot disagree with the the first two sections of his book on the huge degree of world hunger and on the Christian obligation to respond to these issues by placing the needs of the poor above their own needs. (Whether they do that privately or through the state is really a secondary issue, all are called to live justly despite their political leanings).
In lectures which took place at Wheaton College, Sider explained that the truly valuable contribution of his book takes place in these first two sections, because they force conservative christians to admit that they have a responsibility to "live justly" and follow the clear Biblical command layed out in I John 3:16-18, "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little chidren, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (NIV)
To his credit, Wheaton's professor and staunch defender of the free market, PJ Hill, admitted that even though he believed in private free market solutions to the problems that Sider outlined, he agreed with Sider that all Christians must be willing to live simply and place the needs of their brothers and sisters before themselves through humble charity.
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After reading the reviews posted, all I can say is that this book proclaims real biblical truth. While I am not an economist, and cannot verify the soundness of the economic theory, the main message of the book is certainly true: there are lots and lots of desperately poor people around the world, and God loves them; and who God loves, we should love too. It is so hard living in the West, especially in a wealthy country like the USA, to have a global perspective that constantly keeps in mind and has compassion for the suffering of the poor in the third world. And considering how much Jesus talks about money and the dangers of being rich, it is valuable to read a book that challenges us to instead store up treasures in heaven. The central messages of this book are really uncontroversial in light of scripture: God loves the poor. We should give generously and effectively. We should love the poor. That's really what this book is saying. From Ron Sider's repeated disclaimers and prefaces to his specific economic suggestions, it doesn't seem Ron Sider is saying there is only one definite way that will truly help the poor. All he's saying is that we must help them. Do unto others.... Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. The third section was pretty dry and difficult to get through (but with important facts and figures), but the the rest of the book is convicting and inspiring. This is a book that every Christian should read--and approach with an open heart and willingness to make lifestyle changes. Reading this book as a Christian in America is a lot like Jesus' confrontation with the rich young ruler; and after reading it, many people go away sad (or angry!). But imagine the joy in store for the person who really takes this biblical call to love the poor seriously...it's immeasurable.
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