It’s been a few weeks since I last gave an update on Awaiting a Savior. Since the last update, I wrapped a month-long interview series on The Cross Current Radio, got to answer a bunch of questions for my friend Daniel Darling and had my mind blown by some really cool stuff that’s been happening just in terms of reaction to the book (sadly, I can’t really talk about most of that). However, the reviews I’ve seen come in over the last few weeks have been fantastic!
God’s been very kind in giving this book favor with those who are reading it—take a look at some of their thoughts:
While Awaiting a Savior proves an excellent read as a biblical introduction to issues of poverty, Armstrong builds upon the work of other authors on the subject offering many insights that the well-read will surely find invaluable. To present a book that is short, easily understood, foundational, theologically deep, and insightful to readers from a variety of backgrounds is no easy feat! But I believe that Armstrong accomplished this well by the grace of God.
Initially I was tentative to read this book as I was fearful it was yet another in a long line of books inspiring us to live ‘radical’ lives of Christian discipleship. Radical discipleship is not wrong in and of itself, but focusing on ourselves and what we must do instead of Christ and what He has done, and is doing is. Mr. Armstrong completely put me at ease in this regard as I read his book. This is a book that is saturated with Jesus.
I loved this book. It was both convicting and encouraging. Most of all, it points us to that glorious day when those called by the Lord will enjoy eternity with him in a new heavens and a new earth, with no sin in his perfect economy of grace and justice. All praise be to God!
Once you’ve read the introduction, your mind begins to question all other attempts at dealing with the issue of poverty. After all, the whole world is trying to deal with the issue of poverty. . . . The appendix, while only three pages in length, is much needed today. Personally, I think that if all you read is this appendix, you will begin to realize that a paradigm-shift must take place when striving to deal with the issue of poverty. You will begin to think of poverty not so much as a lack of material possessions but a lack of a knowledge of the gospel. That is extremely important and is a message that must be heard.
The less than generous Christian will be convicted by their lack of generosity and desire to help the poor both physically and spiritually (Chapter 7). The overly optimistic Christian who thinks poverty can be dealt a fatal blow because of their ministry will be brought back to earth with the stark realism of sin and Jesus’ own statements about the poor (Chapter 6). It directs our attention to the consummation of all things and a new heaven and a new earth (Chapter 8). I highly recommend this book to Christians who are wrestling with how to help the poor around them. In fact, the sections in Chapter 7 “Should I Give at All”, “To Whom Should I Give” and the Appendix are worth the price of the book for their practical advice on giving and helping the poor.
Understanding that the root of poverty is sin, and realizing that poverty will continue as long as sin is present in the world allows us to love and serve the poor freely as an act of worship. It also reminds us that though we must do what we can to help relieve suffering in the world, we should also be pointing those in need to the Savior. . . . This book will help anyone confused or frustrated about how Christians can best show mercy to the world. I think it would also be helpful for anyone planning to serve areas of the world where poverty is rampant.
The shining truth in Aaron’s book is that poverty is an outgrowth of sin and that any attempts to provide a fix that don’t deal with the human heart will always fall short. It’s a provocative statement that could easily be met with disdain by founders of philanthropic organizations in the world, and even mercy ministries within the local church. In a world where we’re very concerned with finding a “fix,” Aaron makes the point that Christ is truly the only fix for a suffering world. Charitable works and generosity are an outgrowth of overcoming the poverty in our souls without Christ.
This book is practical and full of grace. I loved the practical suggestions at the end, and the way the author tackles the guilt associated with our giving throughout the book.
This is a book that I greatly recommend as a tool to train the young people who want to come and do missions to poor countries. In Latin America, sadly to say, we receive many missionaries, many youth groups that come every summer to help build churches, and paint walls, and sing children’s songs in poor areas; but we need to go deeper, we need to go to the root of poverty: sin in the heart man.