Issue: November 2014: Poverty

Volume 14 Number 10

Editor’s Introduction: Poverty

According to reliable information, 20% of American children and 13% of all Americans live in poverty. Globally, nearly one-half of the world’s population or approximately 3 billion people live on less than $ 2.50 a day. Given the tragic and widespread reality of poverty, how should Christians respond and how shall we live? This issue […]

Spirituality, Religion, and the Millennial Generation of Nones

Using the work of Martin Marty and Will Herberg, Merle Longwood explores how religious practice has changed in the United States over the centuries, putting our current situation in its historical and sociological context. He then complexifies common notions about nones by demonstrating how there are many different kinds of people who are “spiritual, but not religious.” In 21st century America, people are more oriented toward continual seeking for the divine. Longwood argues that to engage this new generation, churches could provide a space for spiritual seekers to explore, rather than trying to provide all the answers.

Millennials: Getting Beyond Selfies, @, and #

Adam Pryor identifies three prominent characteristics of millennials. They have a much closer relationship with technology than previous generations, they have an optimistic belief about their ability to create positive change in the world, but they are also often disillusioned with organized religion. Engaging with the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Charles Taylor, Pryor explores how we can address millennials’ disillusionment by connecting with them through their passion for technology and justice work. ​

Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era (Fortress Press, 2014)

Clint Schnekloth, Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014, 126 pages, $29.00.

“Poor People” as Other: Changing the Subject to “our” Challenges of and Living with Poverty

As Christians, we are called to serve the poor. However, how do we do so justly and effectively? Green notes that by identifying the poor as “other”–as something outside of “us”–we do a disservice to the community and often do not help those in need. Christians should stand in solidarity with those in poverty as members of the body of Christ.​

A Black Lutheran Perspective on Poverty and Plenty

Excerpted from the official statement of the Conference of International Black Lutherans’ second meeting, “A Message from Bulawayo,” this piece discusses the complex social, economic, and political forces that create the crisis of poverty worldwide. Though the message was published in 1997, its contents are still frighteningly relevant today. ​

By Bread Alone: The Bible through the Eyes of the Hungry (Fortress Press, 2014)

Shiela E. McGinn, Lai Lang, Elizabeth Ngan, Ahida Calderon-Pilarski, eds. By Bread Alone: The Bible through the Eyes of the Hungry. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014, 257 pages, $29.00

Rupturing Eschatology: Divine Glory and the Silence of the Cross (Fortress Press, 2014)

​Eric Trozzo, Rupturing Eschatology: Divine Glory and the Silence of the Cross. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014).​

Timeless Duties towards the Hungry Poor

Brattston acknowledges that Christians have an obligation to care for the poor because of Scripture. However, he points to the first two hundred years of Christian community, before debates of doctrine created a splintered church, as a further sign that all Christians share these forebears and therefore should listen to their counsel to care for the poor. In the spirit of the early church fathers, Brattston urges Christians to pray for justice and contact their political representatives to enact policies that will support sustainable and sufficient standards of living.