I don't have that clear vision just yet, but I have a lot more tools, knowledge, and things to reflect upon than I did before. A very long, very boring sermon that manages to irritate continually. If those are questions you've ever asked, I strongly recommend that you read this book. Roland Hoksbergen has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of international development. He lays the groundwork by concisely explaining four major development theories, and then adds a Christian perspective including a bit of history from 4 Christian traditions.
Hoksbergen has presented a book that is challenging for Christians yet true to the discipline of international development. Much of his work explores the relevance of Christian faith to issues of economics and development. On the very next page-- I kid you not-- he begins a new section with a long diatribe about how we Westerners have little to teach the developing world, much to learn, etc. Not only is it generously seasoned with stories of practitioners--their personal backgrounds and the experiences God used to prepare them for development work--but it also clearly and fairly considers the 'why' questions from a variety of Christian perspectives. Hoksbergen provides an indispensable and exceptionally written tool--that could and should be used in any relevant classroom--for college students and many others who are considering a call to international development.
A wise, indispensable guide for those contemplating working in development. Hoksbergen draws on the experience and writing of almost 60 others in order to demonstrate the wide array of paths and possibilities within the field of development. In the midst of such pain and brokenness, the followers of Christ cannot stand idly by, for God calls them into the mission of reconciling all things, first by easing suffering and then by building flourishing communities through the process of transformational human development. It was published by Baker Academic and has a total of 240 pages in the book. This is a book for college students thinking about whether or not they should pursue a career in international development.
He continues on with more theory with some important principles for Christians in development, and in the second half of the book, he gets very practical. Hoksbergen's book is thoughtful, engaging, hopeful, and practical. This unique vocational resource for students interested in mission and development work will serve as a text for global studies, development, intercultural studies, and missions programs. It does have some useful information for students planning a career in international development. It is, after all, only when poverty is understood relationally that we can work together to change the systems and affect true transformation. Hoksbergen's volume on international development is just such a book. In addition to setting the big picture for how Christians approach the big questions of international development, the book draws on stories, advice, and wisdom culled from personal interviews with about fifty development professionals.
Hoksbergen's book highly personal, and thus, highly readable. Hoksbergen draws on the experience and writing of almost 60 others in order to demonstrate the wide array of paths and possibilities within the field of development. He makes it clear that ministry among the poor is as much for the transformation of those seeking to help as it is for those seen as recipients. Chapter 2 overviews development thinking from four major Christian traditions: Catholic, Reformed, Mennonite, and Evangelical. This particular edition is in a Paperback format. Based on interviews with a host of Christian development practitioners working with a variety of organizations, Serving God Globally addresses key questions and issues faced by aspiring and current Christian development workers.
I plan to use the book in an undergraduate class next semester - I'll update this review with student feedback when I can. Chapter 1 humorously but respectfully overviews four secular schools of thought in international development: Modernization, Dependency Theory, Postdevelopment, and the Capabilities Approach. Hoksbergen demonstrates his knowledge of this reality throughout the book, weaving practical examples with theoretical underpinnings to illustrate that practice void of theory misses a key component to the struggle for poverty alleviation. Hoksbergen has also worked for the Christian Reformed Church World Relief Committee. A wise, indispensable guide for those contemplating working in development. Therefore, Chapter 3 gives ten excellent principles of development that represent the consensus of these four Christian traditions. I guess the joy of mouthing platitudes is you don't have to engage your brain.
I started reading it over a year ago, and as happens with many books that I start reading, I got sidetracked with all of the other amazing books on my shelf. Hoksbergen identifies the major challenge of today's world as poverty and offers the solution of Christian service. It is, after all, only when poverty is understood relationally that we can work together to change the systems and affect true transformation. May I never be one of his targets. Or if you're like me and considering a career change, this may be a very helpful book in exploring your options. Another helpful feature were the reflection questions at the end of each chapter--they could be used for group discussion or individual journaling. Chapters 1-3 overview broad topics like history, theology, and worldview, while Chapters 4-8 are about the character, abilities, education, and experiences needed to serve in an international development careers.
What I appreciate most is how Hoksbergen's faith in a sovereign God shines through as the firm foundation for ministry. . It's not that the content wasn't g I found Serving God Globally completely by chance it was the only copy at a discount book store, buried in the stacks. Hoksbergen's book is thoughtful, engaging, hopeful, and practical. In Serving God Globally he weaves time-tested principles of community transformation into a practical guide for use by the church, especially young adults. It's written to an audience of college students interested in pursuing a career in development, but the majority of it was still relevant to me, a hopeful career-changer.