JESUS AND THE POOR by Richard Batey


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Mr. Batey's work is an investigation and reconstruction of the ""poverty programs"" of the primitive Church for the purpose of extracting whatever is applicable to the present, both ideologically and practically. An introductory chapter analyzes the gospel foundations for concern over poverty, and subsequent sections discuss how that concern was implemented during the lifetime of Jesus' immediate followers and in the Pauline church. The final chapter sketches out a theology of poverty for the modern church based on love, ""to demonstrate to the recipient that living in the power of love is a live option."" From a historical and theological standpoint, Batey's early chapters are extraordinarily competent, particularly considering the very limited source material available on this matter. His ""theology of poverty,"" however, seems somehow animated by the spirit that, at one time, manufactured ""rice Christians"" by the thousands in the Orient. One suspects that concern for the poor, in the authentic Christian as well as the Jewish tradition, means to give without expecting anything in return -- not even acquiescence in a ""demonstration of options.

Pub Date: March 27th, 1972
Publisher: Harper & Row