Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hope Rising {a BookLook Bloggers review}

I have to be honest and tell you that I have NO IDEA why I asked to review the book Hope Rising, by Scott Todd.  Maybe it was the fact that Scott is from Compassion International.  In general, a book about how we should be doing more to help those suffering around the globe is just not the kind of thing I volunteer to read.  "You aren't doing enough," just in general, isn't what I want to be told.

Something in the book's description obviously grabbed me, though, and I did ask to review it.  And I am so glad I did.

The publisher's blurb is pretty lengthy, so I'll save it for the end of the review, if you care to see it.

My thoughts:  This book contains short, easy-to-read chapters, which is a huge plus for a book on a topic such as this.  At the risk of giving too much information, I put this book in the bathroom, and I'd read one chapter pretty much every time I went in there.  I know I'm a fast reader, so the perfect length for me might be a bit long for a lot of people.  But you can read half of a chapter at a time that way!

The chapters are filled with HOPE.  You know, like in the title.  It isn't gloom and doom, woe and despair.  Right from the start, Scott presents you with statistics that you are unlikely to have really heard elsewhere... statistics showing that the number of people living in extreme poverty is declining rapidly, that things we are doing are making a difference now, and that yes, it is possible to make a huge difference.  And that we CAN eradicate extreme poverty.

And he doesn't make me feel guilty in the process.  He makes me feel hopeful.  Like I can make a difference.  And my children can too.  Also, unlike other things I've read about global poverty, global hunger, etc., this book makes me feel like I already AM making a difference.  What I am doing in the food pantry at my church is significant and it is part of this global effort. 

The book is realistic too.  It isn't pie-in-the-sky idealism from a 20-year-old who thinks that everything wrong in the world can be fixed if we just get all the "old folks" to stop messing up the world.  He isn't pushing for everyone to sell all they have and trek across the world to dig wells.  Realistic.  We don't have to go to drastic measures to eradicate extreme poverty, but we do need to believe we can and we need to do something.

From the publisher:
Extreme poverty does not have to exist. When Christians accept that fact and start living accordingly, we will find the solution is already within our reach.
Worldwide, 19,000 children die from preventable deaths every day. If that statistic leaves you feeling powerless, you are not alone-but you are wrong. If a false sense of powerlessness has lulled you into apathy, it's time to shake off the grogginess of low expectations and get to work. We can make this world a place where kids do not die from easily preventable diseases.
In Hope Rising, Scott Todd of Compassion International pens a galvanizing, comprehensive vision of the movement that will eradicate extreme global poverty through transformative Christian generosity-and do it within our lifetime. Todd provides riveting evidence to show that we are much closer to that goal than you might think.
According to Todd, we live in an historic moment, and chances are you are already part of it. The gospel is already reshaping lives from thoughtless consumption to informed concern. Twenty-first-century Christians are generating multi-continent grassroots movements through communications and travel. Public and private sectors are working together. It's a whole new era of philanthropy, compassion, and justice aimed at eradicating the pandemic of extreme global poverty.
This is a future we have the God-given power to create. This is the history we hope to write.
As Todd envisions, "The twenty-first-century Christians embraced the entirety of their gospel-the truths it proclaims and the muscles it demands-with a new integrity. They did not deteriorate into humanist liberalism, as some had feared. Nor did they pile works on top of Grace…They simply determined that their world did not need to have children dying of preventable causes such as dirty water."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

grtlyblesd said...

Well that's encouraging! Sometimes I feel like the little things we do (child sponsorship, donating to the food bank or the crisis pregnancy center, etc.) don't make a difference. But I guess if everyone does little things, big results happen.