cover image Doing Good Is Simple: Making a Difference Right Where You Are

Doing Good Is Simple: Making a Difference Right Where You Are

Chris Marlow. Zondervan, $15.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-310-34357-8

"An apathetic Christian is a deathblow to those who are suffering," says Marlow, founder of the anti-poverty organization Help One Now. Apathy is an old Christian sin, he notes; sometimes called sloth or acedia, the key element is a marked disinterest in anything outside one's self. Writing in a breezy, intimate, first-names-only style, Marlow provides quick, painless listicles: "Three Hurdles to Doing Good," six ways to jump those hurdles, "Six Desires of Every Human," and six steps to establishing good partnerships. All are clear and concise, and provide encouragement to act. Avoiding a guilt-laden approach, Marlow recounts success stories while gently weaving in recollections of his own violent upbringing and mission trips working with orphans in Zimbabwe and Haiti. For example, when Marlow found out that hungry kids in Haiti could be fed for about 25 cents per kid per meal, he paired up a coffee-roaster in Raleigh, N.C., with schoolchildren in Haiti: the roaster adds a 25-cent "anti-apathy" tax to each bag of coffee, which funds food for students. Marlow's practical guide to social charity is a must-read for anyone who wants to be a decent human being. (Aug.)