[This is a throwback article from August 4, 2014]
Book Review of “Good News to the Poor” by Tim Chester
The subject of justice and mercy for the oppressed is something that has been greatly lacking in my discipleship. Most people I know don’t talk much or know much about this topic. This book has been an ideal read as I seek to find out what the Bible says about taking care of the widow, the orphan, and the alien, as well as what it says about the rich.
Chester, in this greatly helpful and challenging book, gives a thorough and widely-scoped look at what the Good News is for the poor. As I am a conservative and reformed evangelical, taking a course on Biblical Justice at a more liberal and somewhat emergent bible college, I appreciated his balanced approach in urging “conservatives not to marginalize those who uphold the cause of the oppressed and to urge social activists not to go down the blind alley of theological liberalism” (Loc.169).
Chester approaches this issue of justice and mercy from many angles, yet they all go well together to give us a comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand, all-the-while not boring or overwhelming us with a weighty tome to read. He writes this book with sound grace-based, gospel-centered theology, rooted in and elaborated with scripture, looking back at church history and forward to Christ’s return, challenging us with radical commitment to Christ, and providing ample applications and examples for how we can live this out.
This book challenged me, amongst other chapters, in the chapter titled: “Good News to the Rich”. Where Chester confronts our consumerism and lack of contentment: “How we handle our money is vital for our spiritual well-being. Every time we spend money, we are making an ethical decision” (Loc.1759).
This book is for pastors and parishioners, leaders and labourers, pew-sitters and activists; Christians – poor, middle-class, and rich. This book will stir-up thoughts, raise important conversations, evoke praise, and hopefully, challenge and put God’s people to the task.
May it be a blessing to you as it has been to me.
As a part of this review, Crossway has graciously provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Beyond the Page.