Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Dirty Faith

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Dirty Faith

Article excerpt

DIRTY FAITH

By David Z. Nowell (Bethany House, 2014)

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Dirty Faith, written by the president of Hope Unlimited for Children, describes the work the organization has done in Campinas, Brazil: evangelizing, schooling, and rehabilitating street children. It has reached some 500 of these "hungry, exploited, abused, and abandoned" kids by intervening in their lives of theft and prostitution and by visiting those trapped in violent and filthy prisons.

This book is a call for Christians to leave the pew and live out faith in service. "Far too often we want to hire someone to do our Christianity for us, to pay the pastors and missionaries--the professional' Christians--to do the work we are all called to do." In other words, we are called to get our hands dirty--hence, "dirty faith." Yet the author's tone does more to criticize than to inspire. "The church needs to be reminded that spending 85 percent of its resources on salaries, facilities, and other internal needs of the congregation makes a mockery of the Great Commission," Nowell writes. …

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