The Rev. Bill Driscoll
bill.redeemer@gmail.com
 

Bill Recommends:

With more than 225,000 copies sold, When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming 
contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation and ministry to those 
in need. Emphasizing the poverty of both heart and society, this book exposes the 
need that every person has and how it can be filled. The reader is brought to understand 
that poverty is much more than simply a lack of financial or material resources 
and that it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve the problem of 
poverty.

While this book exposes past and current development efforts that 
churches have engaged in which unintentionally undermine the people they're trying 
to help, its central point is to provide proven strategies that challenge Christians 
to help the poor empower themselves. Focusing on both North American and Majority 
World contexts, When Helping Hurts catalyzes the idea that sustainable change 
for people living in poverty comes not from the outside-in, but from the inside-out.  

                 

 

"'Gay, ' 'Christian, ' and 'celibate' don't often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God's 'No' to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God's will for believers who experience same-sex desires? Those who choose celibacy are often left to deal with loneliness and the hunger for relationships. How can gay Christians experience God's favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt? Weaving together reflections from his own life and the lives of other Christians, such as Henri Nouwen and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Hill offers a fresh perspective on these questions. He advocates neither unqualified 'healing' for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness. 'I hope this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ, ' Hill writes. 'In so doing, they may find, as I have, by grace, that being known is spiritually healthier than remaining behind closed doors, that the light is better than the darkness.'"
from books.google.com

 

Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department's curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a "train wreck" at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could. 

 

Terms like same-sex marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gay Christian are part of the discourse of daily life; yet enormous controversy surrounds them. They are the stuff of news headlines and vitriolic social media posts. But they also reflect stirrings of the heart in real people with real questions and concerns. 

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, once a leftist professor in a committed lesbian relationship and now a confessional Christian, but always the thoughtful and compassionate professor, has written a followup to The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. This book answers many of the questions that people pose when she speaks at universities and churches, questions not only about her unlikely conversion to Christ but about personal struggles that the questioners only dare to as someone else who has traveled a long and painful journey. 

Dr. Butterfield not only goes to great lengths to clarify some of today’s key controversies, she also traces their history and defines the terms that have become second nature today—even going back to God’s original design for marriage and sexuality as found in the Bible. She cuts to the heart of the problems and points the way to the solution, which includes a challenge to the church to be all that God intended it to be, and for each person to find the true freedom that is found in Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Recommends:

 

 

 

Veteran urban activist Robert Lupton reveals the shockingly toxic effects that modern charity has upon the very people meant to benefit from it. Toxic Charity provides proven new models for charitable groups who want to help—not sabotage—those whom they desire to serve. Lupton, the founder of FCS Urban Ministries (Focused Community Strategies) in Atlanta, the voice of the Urban Perspectives newsletter, and the author of Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life, has been at the forefront of urban ministry activism for forty years. Now, in the vein of Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty, Richard Stearns’s The Hole in Our Gospel, and Gregory Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart, his groundbreaking Toxic Charity shows us how to start serving needy and impoverished members of our communities in a way that will lead to lasting, real-world change.