Unleashing Opportunity: Why Escaping Poverty Requires a Shared Vision of Justice

Michael Gerson

Published by Falls City Press, 2015
ISBN 10: 0986405140 / ISBN 13: 9780986405143
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Synopsis: There is a perfect storm undermining something important about America: the opportunity for people born into poverty to advance over their lifetimes. This book explores how to unleash opportunity in five key areas: early childhood, the graduation gap, foster care, juvenile justice, and predatory lending. For each issue Gerson explores the magnitude of the problem, Summers applies a theological framework for considering solutions, and Thompson tells the story of men and women who have journeyed through these issues. Social mobility has become increasingly stalled in America and the result is a class system in which birth equals destiny. Unleashing opportunity is now more important than ever.

Review: "It's a gem. With uncommon wisdom, Unleashing Opportunity pinpoints five aspects of inequality that cry out for a compassionate response. It shows how personal involvement can change lives and promote public justice-a compelling invitation for believers to help narrow our truly alarming and dehumanizing opportunity gap." Arthur Simon, founder and president emeritus, Bread for the World, and author of Bread for the World and How Much Is Enough?

"Unleashing Opportunity is a rare and masterful blend of vision and practice, well-considered philosophy, and practical action. It explores some of the most important and difficult issues of our day with uncommon insight. Perhaps even more importantly, Unleashing Opportunity helps teach us how to engage all of the myriad complex questions of justice and mercy with wisdom, knowledge, and grace." Jedd Medefind, president, Christian Alliance for Orphans, and author of Becoming Home

"In a time when our political system seems ill-equipped to address perpetual injustice, this book recaptures a Christian case for politics. Whether or not you hold political office, you are a political person, and God intends for you to pursue justice in all spheres of life. This book will provide you with a clear, compassionate, and hopeful vision for doing so." Katelyn Beaty, managing editor, Christianity Today magazine

"Who can deny the reality of increasing inequality in U.S. society? The injustice of this is easy to recognize. It's much harder to discern what can be done. This potent little book offers both a careful diagnosis of the problem as well as prescriptions that are concrete and appropriately complex. This book starts the kind of conversation we need to have." James K.A. Smith, PhD, professor of philosophy, Calvin College, and editor of Comment magazine

"The opportunity gap is an urgent public problem that calls out for a Christian response. But addressing the gap can seem overwhelming. While acknowledging complexity, Gerson, Thompson, and Summers insist we can and must respond with a down-to-earth vision for public justice. Their focus on issues that are often overlooked in their effects on the poor is a particularly welcome addition to the ongoing discussion about inequality in our society." Kevin R. den Dulk, PhD, director, Henry Institute and chair, Department of Political Science, Calvin College

"It is the precondition of public justice, write Gerson, Summers, and Thompson, to make the invisible visible. In this readable little book, this team fulfills exactly that precondition: stories, cases, and moving testimonies that shine the light on some of our most misunderstood, misdiagnosed, or plainly ignored social pathologies. Here is a real account of how the venerable tradition of Christian social thought is plausible, practical, and urgently needed for escaping poverty." Rob Joustra, PhD, director, Centre for Christian Scholarship, Redeemer University College, Ontario, Canada

"Finally-a book that inspires us to be passionate about overcoming poverty, identifies particular issues to which we need to attend in order to unleash opportunity for all, and empowers us with concrete steps we can take to make a difference in the lives of those who are not thriving. As we allow our imaginations and practices to be shaped by the suggestions of these authors, we can move from a vague sense that we should care about today's injustices to specific engagement with issues and institutions that can move our society towards public justice. With motivating stories and powerful statistics, this book is sure to help its readers come together to actively seek the flourishing of each and every person in our midst." Kristen Deede Johnson, PhD, associate professor of theology and Christian formation, Western Theological Seminary.

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Title: Unleashing Opportunity: Why Escaping Poverty...
Publisher: Falls City Press
Publication Date: 2015
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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