The Awaiting a Savior blog tour continues with a whole whack of new reviews. I am unbelievably thankful for how warmly people are receiving this book. I hope you’ll check out all these fine folk’s blogs, not just to read their reviews, but to enjoy their content:
“A refreshing read”
Awaiting a Savior . . . is an intelligent and penetrating look at poverty that is neither a knee-jerk reactionary call to action nor a curmudgeonly call to maintain the present state of affairs. Armstrong’s approach does not accept my tendency to bury my head nor does it raise the alarm for radical protesters. It is a balanced approach to and discussion of an age-old problem; poverty.
“I would highly recommend this book to ALL Christians, not just those who feel they have a heart to care for the poor.”
This book is a great example of Biblical Theology, tracing a theme throughout the whole of Scripture. It is clear that Aaron has spent a considerable amount of time in study and practice reflecting on the issues of poverty in our world today. It is easy for authors to suggest practical ways to address issues in our world today, especially poverty by neglecting the whole counsel of God. Aaron takes the difficult route of surveying the entirety of the Bible to see what God’s thoughts are regarding sin and its effect on poverty.
“More than a practical, how-to sort of book…”
More than a practical, how-to sort of book, this is mostly a book dealing with motivations and reasons why Christians ought to engage in ministering and serving those in poverty around them. Toward the end of the book there are some really helpful ideas and a framework to consider for how you can get involved. However, more than anything the author hopes to cultivate Christians and churches that are truly heavenly minded “clear-eyed, motivated, inspired, and practical in a way that no other perspective can match” (loc. 902) who understand that the Gospel teaches that loving God and being loved by God should result in real and tangible loving of your neighbor because “covenant faithfulness simply results in ethical faithfulness.”
“I have often longed for a balanced voice in the middle of this issue. I think we now have one.”
Awaiting A Savior . . . 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. . . . I would highly recommend this book to all Christians.
I think Armstrong’s insight that we are not really called to end poverty but rather minister to those who are suffering is wildly important. This I think enables us to get past some of the debate about “social justice,” because the point is that we must point all people, including the poor, to the promise of the greatest hope in the world and yet also minister to their immediate needs.
Awaiting a Savior connects this “worship issue” back to poverty’s proper diagnosis—sin at the core—and presents many Biblical implications for God’s people (and even practical guidelines for financial giving, p. 88-92). So as we consider how we might seek to minister to our poor neighbors in love, as we eagerly “await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” I wholeheartedly echo Armstrong’s encouragement to do so while placing our ultimate hope in the “[t]he hope for an eternal end to poverty—one not found in human effort, but in the return of Jesus, when he will make all things new and wipe away every tear from every eye.” (94, 97)
This is a wonderful short book. It may be short in length, but it gets right to the point of addressing poverty Biblically. I would recommend all Believers to read this book to gain a better understanding of how we can minister God’s grace to the poor. I am a church planter now, but for awhile I pastored the largest church in a small town. Being the largest church in a small town means you are constantly bombarded by people needing financial help. At times this can easily make you jaded to where you think most of them are abusing the system. At other times it leads you to tears as you hear about the situations in which people live. Awaiting A Savior deals with the questions that being in that situation brought up to me.
Still a few more reviews to come. My family and I are very thankful for the support we’ve seen so far for this book. We’re continuing to pray that it will be useful. If you haven’t had a chance, please do consider purchasing a copy, either direct from Cruciform Press or from Amazon.