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Hope for the Southern World: Impacting Societal Problems in the Non-Western World

by Timothy M. Monsma

The majority of evangelical Christians now live in the southern hemisphere. God has multiplied his Church in Latin America, Africa and southern Asia. This success story in world missions carries a nagging concern.

CCW Books, 2474 Boise Ave., Loveland, CO 80538, 135 pages, $12.95.

Reviewed by Ron Blue, former president, CAM International; director of the Spanish Doctor of Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary.

The majority of evangelical Christians now live in the southern hemisphere. God has multiplied his Church in Latin America, Africa and southern Asia. This success story in world missions carries a nagging concern. Why do so many social, economic and political problems persist in this part of the world? Hope for the Southern World is a much-needed book.

Experienced missionary, talented professor and gifted author Timothy Monsma focuses on the seemingly unending poverty and political turmoil in the southern world and offers hope for change.

This volume is packed with practical advice on how believers and churches can bring advance in the communities that seem so destitute, impoverished and oppressed. Well grounded in scripture and filled with positive examples, Hope for the Southern World analyzes causes and provides workable solutions for Christians who face persecution, corruption, civil strife, poverty and other prevalent issues in the Two-thirds World.

Christian influence in both weak democracies and oppressive dictatorships can make a significant difference by following the specific action steps presented. The world can be changed from the inside out by God’s power through those who have found new life in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not a “social gospel”; it is societal change through the power of God’s good news.

Three appendices include studies on the kingdom, the meaning of the Church and a list of partner agencies. The approach to the kingdom comes dangerously close to “replacement theology” in which the Church takes the place of Israel in God’s plan. Monsma writes, “The kingdom of Jesus Christ replaced the kingdom of Israel….God’s kingdom has in principle already arrived.” At the same time, he indicates that the “greater part” of the kingdom is “still coming.”

This book will be of great help to those engaged in the southern hemisphere and to those who care about making a difference in our rapidly changing and persistently troubled world. Indeed, there is hope through the transforming work of the gospel through the body of Christ—even in the most desperate places around the world.

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