This book is about the full Gospel story: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. It brings Biblical theology to bear on all kinds of human activity. One way to read the authors’ message is that we (wealthy western Christians) don’t really understand flourishing very well, even for ourselves. The problem is not even that we aren’t good at helping other people become wealthy, it’s that we don’t rightly understand the role of wealth in human flourishing in general.
Because they correct not just the methods of poverty alleviation but the goals as well, the authors jump back and forth between discussing what we need to understand in order to help poor people, and what we need to be doing and believing to help ourselves become whole.
They offer several schematizations of how historic Christianity has been corrupted or distorted by two alternative views of the world: Traditional Religion and Western Naturalism. They draw a triangle with Historic Christianity, Traditional Religion, and Western Naturalism as the three points. Many western European countries fall between Historic Christianity and Western Naturalism while most developing countries, especially in Africa, fall between Historic Christianity and Traditional Religion.