Thursday, May 23, 2013

Harbor for the Poor: Almsgiving and St. John Chrysostom

When time and money allow, I think I'll pick this up. A reasonable $20 on Amazon.

(Wipf and Stock) - Harbor for the Poor: A Missiological Analysis of Almsgiving in the View and Practice of John Chrysostom by Eric Costanzo.

Urban poverty in the developed world is an ever-present problem, and Christian approaches to poverty throughout history have much to teach us. The practice of almsgiving, which is the consistent practice of giving and sharing resources to meet the needs of the poor, is a sadly neglected part of this Christian heritage. This book explores the Christian lifestyle of almsgiving through the study of John Chrysostom.

The sermons and writings of John Chrysostom (c.347-407 CE), pastor in Antioch and archbishop of Constantinople, contain perhaps the greatest concentration of teaching on almsgiving in all of Christian literature. John's teaching on almsgiving was both biblical and practical, and his ministry helped strengthen care for the poor throughout the Roman Empire of late antiquity. John preached his sermons to congregations filled with people who lived very comfortable lives. From his perspective, the churches of Antioch and Constantinople had grown complacent regarding poverty, when in fact God had called them to become a harbor for the poor.

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