Issue: July 2010: An Excruciating Tension

Volume 10 Number 7

[1] Haiti’s centuries-old struggles never seem to end. Recent reports of increasing gender-based violence and degradation stress again the urgency of Haiti’s problems.1 This, of course, was completely predictable. It’s not the first time men caught up in a catastrophe have inflicted widespread rape on women and girls. The roughly 1,200 encampments throughout Haiti, not […]

Lessons on Giving Learned in Haiti

[1] Roy Menninger writes that there are three reasons for giving: narcissistic, demands of conscience and altruistic.1 However, there is also a fourth type of giving which is akin to altruism. It is sacrificial giving which is a blessing to someone but at a real cost to the giver. Narcissistic giving is not worthy giving […]

Primum non nocere: Ethical Principles of Mission Trips after Disaster

[1] The Rev. Mark Wm. Radecke, an ELCA pastor at Susquehanna University has penned an excellent article in a recent issue of Christian Century entitled “Misguided Missions.”1 In discussing short-term mission trips, Pastor Radecke explains that “I’ve found that [mission trips] can have a profound effect on the faith and life of participants, and good […]

Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion

[1] Famously, Jesus said, “You will always have the poor with you.” Well, not if economist Paul Collier has his way. In The Bottom Billion Collier makes the case that a research-based, carefully applied set of instruments targeting specific traps that keep the global poor in poverty could actually work to eliminate poverty as we […]

Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty

[1] U2 singer Bono has become well-known in recent years for his tireless work to raise awareness of poverty through the “Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa” campaign. Fewer people are aware of the role economist Jeffrey D. Sachs has played in providing the economic grounds for Bono’s work. In his book The End of Poverty, for […]

Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky

[1] Stories. If there is one thing Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for the New York Times, and Sheryl WuDunn, a former editor and bureau chief for the Times, know, they know stories. Kristof and WuDunn are the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. Through the deft journalistic documentation of real […]

Martin Luther on the Christian Life

[1] She knocks a little tentatively on my office door; and at my invitation she comes in and sits down. I’ve not seen Sarah (not her real name) for some time, and I’m delighted she has come to talk. One of the most capable students I’ve ever taught, she is just back from a semester […]

Haiti’s Future: Repeating Disasters

[1] My first response to seeing a series of pictures of the decimated Port-Au-Prince after the January 12th earthquake was “How will they build factories now?”1 Prior to that date many of us concerned with the desperate state of things in Haiti had been focused on the man-made disaster that was currently in the making […]