Category Social Justice

Hope Rising

Hope Rising: How Christians Can End Extreme Poverty in This GenerationHope Rising
By Scott C. Todd Ph. D.
Thomas Nelson
Retail Price $15.99
Amazon Price: $11.95

Book Description: 

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, 18,000 children die from preventable causes 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.”


Some books on alleviating poverty are unrealistic and cause more condemnation and shame than is necessary or even warranted.  I am a firm believer that we are all accountable to help others in our own sphere of influence, so this book hit home with me. This book offers hope not only to those in need, but to those who want to make a difference.  The basic premise is that extreme poverty can be eradicated. Author Scott Todd speaks about our low expectations that extreme poverty can dealt with and then goes about showing how much has truly changed even in the last 20 years. I did not know so many inroads have been made in the war of poverty. I found myself encouraged to continue to do my part.  I highly recommend this book for everyone who believes God can make the impossible possible and wants to do their part in seeing lives changed forever.

~Reviewed by Allie B.

    Rhinestone Jesus

    Rhinestone Jesus
    By Kristen Welch and Ann Voskamp
    Tyndale Momentum
    Retail Price $15.99
    Amazon Price: $10.44

    Book Description:

    In high school, Kristen Welch wore a big, sparkly rhinestone “Jesus” pin to school every day and carried her Bible wherever she went. (Yes, she was that girl.) But she didn’t realize her faith, though sincere, was shallow; much like her artificial accessory, it would one day tarnish, no longer a true fit for who she was. As real life catapulted Kristen into places and situations she’d never imagined, there came a day when she stood shocked in the slums of Africa and realized in one desperate moment that Jesus wasn’t enough for her. At least . . . she wasn’t living like He was. On the brink of a risk bigger than any she’d ever taken, Kristen knew she didn’t stand a chance—unless she was willing to put aside the rhinestones and get branded by the real thing.Rhinestone Jesus is the story of one woman’s journey from comfortably living a safe, “good-girl” faith that didn’t cost much, to realizing that God was daring her to say yes to a bolder, more authentic, more dangerous way. This story of spiritual adventure throws the doors wide open for any woman who’s ever thought of herself as “just a mom.” Kristen will inspire and empower you to say yes to God right where you are—and stand amazed at how your life will shine.


    In this book, author Kristen Welch is real.  She opens her entire life to the reader…warts and all.  I respect that.  As I read, I laughed and I cried and she made me fee “normal”.  Like all families have their “stuff” and that is okay.  God will use it all for our good to grow us into the people we are destined to become!  This book is based on the life and work of the author and her family who helped to found Mercy House, a home for pregnant young women in Kenya.  She gives us the back story and shares their struggles to persevere in the mission God had laid on their hearts.   It was very interesting and inspiring.  It moves you to examine your own life to see where God is calling YOU!  I highly recommend it.


    ~Reviewed by Amy L.


      Saints and Social Justice

      Saints and Social Justice
      by Brandon Vogt
      Our Sunday Visitor   –
      Retail Price $12.95
      Amazon Price: $10.32

      Book Description: 

      Catholic social teaching has explosive power for changing not just individuals, but whole societies. And it’s the saints who light the fuse. – Brandon Vogt


      The value of human life. The call to family and community. Serving the poor. The rights of workers. Care for creation.

      The church has always taught certain undeniable truths that can and should affect our society. But over the years, these teachings have been distorted, misunderstood, and forgotten.

      With the help of fourteen saints, it’s time we reclaim Catholic social teaching and rediscover it through the lives of those who best lived it out. Follow in the saints’ footsteps, learn from their example, and become the spark of authentic social justice that sets the world on fire.

      Learn from heroes like:

      • Bl. Teresa of Calcutta
      • St. Peter Claver
      • St. Frances of Rome
      • St. Roque Gonzalez
      • Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
      • St. Damien of Molokai
      • St. John Paul II


      I love this sort of book.  The author provides us many stories of people who have made a difference in their sphere of influence and beyond because they cared for “the least, the last, and the lost.” Vogt does a great job of highlighting the lives of 14 different saints from all walks of life who were open to follow God’s will and live on mission and relating them to our own lives, causing us to search our own hearts to see what mission God has for us.  It was a thought-provoking book and though it might make you a little bit uncomfortable, it can spur you on to great things.  I found this book inspiring, helping me to understand social justice issues, and my own responsibility.

      ~Reviewed by Rosie B.