A REVOLUTION OF COMPASSION: Faith-Based Groups as Full Partners in Fighting America's Social Problems

Dave Donaldson, Author, Carlson-Thies Stanley, Author, Stanley W. Carlson-Thies, Joint Author . Baker $14.99 (201p) ISBN 978-0-8010-6445-6

It's not easy to write a reasoned and easy-to-read book about the politically superheated topic of faith-based groups and social services. The authors, a nonprofit specialist and a policy specialist, creditably do so. They speak to evangelical Christians to encourage them to come to the public table, where they may act as citizens and neighbors in a way that accommodates and affirms, rather than threatens or ignores, their religious beliefs. The authors carefully explain the unfolding of federal Charitable Choice provisions of the late 1990s and during George W. Bush's administration that have redefined what money groups can get to provide what kind of community services to those in need. They call for less suspicion and a good deal more partnering with other sources of charitable help, provided that a faith group has the confidence and clarity that its social work is a faithful expression of what it believes. One flaw in the book is a scanty sense of history: Catholics have delivered 150 years of human services in America without losing their religion, and that track record deserves more thorough notice here. (The authors do acknowledge providers motivated by their religious beliefs to minister to bodies and souls, notably the Salvation Army.) Still, this is not so much a theoretical book as a practical one with advice, suggestions and basic resources for evangelical groups ready for the opportunity and challenge of fulfilling the great commission by acting as good Samaritans. This is a needed book. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
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