Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - FAST LIVING: How the Church will end the Extreme Poverty

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Review - FAST LIVING: How the Church will end the Extreme Poverty

About the Book
“The poor you have with you always,” Jesus said. So why would a scientifically trained Christian child development and expert in poverty issues dare to say the church will eradicate extreme poverty in this generation? Is he a crazy heretic? A wishful dreamer? Or is he on to something? Author, speaker and former biomedical scientist, Scott C. Todd, Ph.D., has written Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty (Compassion International, September 2011) to educate readers on how much has already be accomplished in the war against poverty. He’s also writing to convince readers that the level of extreme poverty can be reduced to zero within the next 25 years.

Dr. Todd writes, “This generation is the first to look upon the dawn of a staggering possibility. For the first time in human history we are looking at the realistic possibility of ending extreme global poverty.” His important book spearheads a dynamic movement of Christians committed to ending extreme poverty. Based on the themes of Isaiah 58, Fast Living presents a theological foundation, hard statistics, and human stories that can motivate a generation of Christians to end extreme global poverty.

Scott Todd may be an optimist, but his optimism is backed up by hard facts that reveal how the tyranny of extreme poverty is already being broken:

  • Over the past eight years, the number of kids dying from measles has declined by 78 percent – saving
  • half a million children every year
  • 22 countries have cut their malaria rate in half! And they did it in only six years.
  • In the’80s, 40,000 children died each day from preventable causes. Now it’s down to 21,000.
  • The spread of HIV has been curbed by 16 percent globally
  • In 1981, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (living on less than $1 a day). As of 2005 that number is 26%.

Dr. Todd puts this final statistic in perspective, “We have cut the percentage of people living in extreme poverty in half. And we did it in one generation!” He believes that Christians, by God’s grace and power, will bring an end to extreme poverty in the next twenty-five years.

While success rates are positive, many people are overwhelmed by the massive problem that remains. Todd addresses this phenomenon, “Many people doubt that the weight can be lifted. Perhaps you doubt it too, thinking it’s possible in theory, perhaps, but we won’t have any success anytime soon. Let me assure you that it is possible. We even have a plan that will work. But before we can act on that plan, we must first break free from the tyranny of low expectations. I want to lift your expectations of what is possible, of the future, yourself, the Church, even your expectations of God.

Dr. Todd encourages the Christian Church to take its rightful position in the battle against poverty. By describing how the church is ideally equipped, empowered and positioned to deal a death blow to extreme poverty, he describes a future that is very different from our present. It is a future that will be shaped by sacrifice, commitment, and the heart of God’s people. Scott Todd personifies the mentality that will make the difference, “I want to look back and see that I temporarily gave up some good things for the sake of the great things. Call it fast living. It’s time to become good at being hungry.” 100% of the proceeds from Fast Living will benefit children in need.

My Take on the Book
If you are a Christian or not this book will rivet you to think about what you can do to relieve the poverty in our world. Each person is able to do that with very little money out their pocket. "Old expectations are like zombies that refuse to die, but they must die before new expectations can replace them."

This book made me realize that even though I am on a fixed income I can put a portion of my money toward eradicating poverty in the world. So many examples of children making money through cleaning houses, bake sales, etc. and using that money to buy the equipment to drill wells for safe drinking water in third world countries.

We have people like Bill Gates and Mr. Buffet who have pledged millions of dollars to the support of programs to elevated the food shortages, sanitation, fresh water problems, and they are inviting other billionaires to do the same.

Social change is the only way to make an impact. We must get our children to get involved so it will continue to the future. It is only through government, businesses, and the church or nonprofit organizations getting involved will this be solved.

Poverty is the product of unmet basic needs. Our country has the same needs as well as the world.
This book is based on the basic principle of Jesus teaching of taking care of each other.

What will you do to take care of those around you?

You are the lucky one who has his or her basic needs provided for at this time.

Can you give 10% to the needs of others to make this world a better place?

I think that this book will give you a new realization of the possibilities of what you can do even with minimal resources . You will be amazed what a few dollars a day can do for someone who has no clean water to drink and who may die because it is not available.

I encourage you to read this book and share it with others.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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1 comment:

keri said...

Great review! I was really convicted and challenged by Fast Living as well. Dr. Todd has a great video on the book's website at, where he challenges those who think "the poor will always be with us" so we don't even need to try to help. Jesus called us to love our neighbors, and our neighbors include everyone, especially those living in extreme poverty.