Looking for Books on Charity in the Church

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by fredtgreco, Jul 7, 2012.

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  1. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

  2. Miss Marple

    Miss Marple Puritan Board Junior

    In response to Sider's "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger," Dave Chilton wrote "Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators."

    While it was an "antithesis" effort to Sider's work, I believe it set out biblical examples of charity. I read it many years ago so my memory is a little stale.
     
  3. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    James Beverlin Ramsay wrote an article on the diaconate and he spends a good bit of the article in discussion of the poor:

    http://www.pcahistory.org/HCLibrary/periodicals/spr/v12/12-1-1.pdf

    See particularly page 9 for a take-away quote :


     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    However, upon re-reading Fred's original post, it is interesting how quickly we stray to other, related things and fail to answer the question or speak to the issue. Mea culpa, Fred. Haven't read either of those books. But will now take your encouragement to at least go read that article in World.
     
  5. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Fred,

    When I was visiting Wayne's booth at GA, Ron Gleason walked up and started talking to us. He has a book that is coming out soon on the subject that sounds interesting.
     
  6. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Wayne,

    A very interesting quote. It gets at one of my main questions. Ramsey says: "From the very first the Church of Christ seems to have accepted it as an indispensable obligation resting on her, to take care of her poor." (emphasis mine) Does the church have an obligation to the "random" poor, or to her poor (e.g. widows and orphans) only?
     
  7. Caroline

    Caroline Puritan Board Sophomore

    In a practical sense, I don't know very many churches that have the financial means to do much more than care for their own poor. I do know a lot of people who envision churches as vast stores of wealth (including the City of Schenectady, which has now sent my church three appeals to voluntarily pay their 'fair share' of property taxes to help fund city programs--and don't even get me started on how that drives me crazy when we get those letters). In reality, most churches are scraping the bottom of the barrel just to look after the elderly and disabled and so on in their own congregations and supporting a few missions.

    I suppose if a church had the means, then supporting orphanages and such would be a good work... if it was done well. I think most missionaries have had cause to complain of well-meaning churches pouring money into bad projects.
     
  8. Miss Marple

    Miss Marple Puritan Board Junior

    Guilty! Although the TITLE of the thread said "Looking for books. . ." so that was what I responded to.
     
  9. jwithnell

    jwithnell Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Pastor Greco, I haven't read the books you've cited, by I think a short answer to your question is yes, the church has a peculiar duty to care for her poor. 1 Timothy 5 immediately comes to mind, and James 2:15-16: "If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?" You also have example of churches giving to churches such as in 2 Corinthians 8 when the Jerusalem church was supported by the churches among which Paul ministered.

    Micah gives the broader context of social justice: "Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, Her priests instruct for a price." Again, this is within God's people, it should not be misconstrued as a generalized command for social action.

    Yes, "random" examples are given such as "the good Sumerian." But this, I believe serves a different purpose: as we help strangers, we are showing God's mercy. Taken outside that context, we engage in a social gospel that makes the church little different from the Boy Scouts.

    Forgive me if I've jumped in sideways here. Since my husband is a deacon, we talk a lot about this kind of thing.
     
  10. MightyManfred

    MightyManfred Puritan Board Freshman

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