Christ Among the Classes: The Rich, the Poor, and the Mission of the Church
By: Al Tizon
"Heartfelt and existentially challenging. . . . Tizon’s book points us all, and perhaps especially those working in development, toward a spiritual pathway of real and lasting change."--Cyntha Moody in Christian Relief, Development, and Advocacy.
Simple, lucid and clear.. You may not agree with Tizon's perspectives; but as you read each chapter, I can guarantee deeper reflection and quest for God's kingdom come, on earth as it is heaven. As one, more materially endowed, living among a people and a continent of deep impoverishment and socioeconomic inequalities, Al Tizon's Christ Among the Classes has encouraged and challenged me towards my quest for a more just social order, in the name of Christ.”--Dr D Zac Niringiye, bishop in the Church of Uganda (Anglican)
"This book provides the reader with a much-needed reminder to the essence of God's mission. By presenting practical guidelines, Al passionately argues that the church is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in advocating for the poor. His passionate appeal to the church in the West "to remember the poor" has implications to the rapidly growing church in the Global South too. His perspectives give insights to the church in a context of great material poverty and flourishing of Prosperity Gospel which associates poverty with divine disfavor thereby twisting the gospel. Al's book, therefore, transmits a message of warning and hope."--Seblewengel Daniel, Director for East Africa Sending Office, SIM, Ethiopia
"I lived among scavengers in a garbage dump in the heart of the city of Manila for more than thirty years because I realized, as Al Tizon writes, classism is an affront to the God of justice. His book goes right to the heart of the matter: if the wealthy do not repent, the human race will soon perish from the face of the earth. The rich have to more towards compassion and solidarity as the book suggests, otherwise, in the face of the pandemic, the brutal invasion of Ukraine, and the devastation that will be wrought by climate change, we might have no world at all in a very short while."--Fr. Benigno P. Beltran, SVD, Office for the Integrity of Creation, Divine Word Missionaries
“There's a great amount of talk about justice in the larger Church. This is good and ought to be affirmed. Yet, this can also be a challenge because the topic of justice can simply be reduced to an event or a conference. In Al Tizon's latest book, Christ Among the Classes, Tizon invites us to a deeper probe and examination of the root and consequences of classism - a subject often neglected in the pursuit of justice. In this book, he offers one of the most helpful definitions of classism and how this fundamentally impacts the "the poor" - and the imbalance or lack of mutuality in relationships between the haves and have nots. Be warned, this is not a feel good, fuzzy book. It's challenging, prophetic, and disruptive and yet, calls the reader - and the Church - to deeper self examination of classism, but all while calling us to follow and embody Christ. This is a challenging book but make no mistake about it, this is a must read.”-- Rev. Eugene Cho, President/CEO, Bread for the World, author, Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk: A Christian's Guide to Engaging Politics
"This book is an important read for non-poor Christians, as it prods and pokes at some strongly-held beliefs about power, wealth, and privilege. Completion of any one of these movements by non-poor Christians will be an improvement." -- Paul D. Gregory, The Englewood Review of Books
Addresses contemporary socioeconomic concerns from a biblical and mission-based perspective. Offers a tool (a social justice inventory) for evaluating ourselves in light of a biblical theology of wealth and poverty.
Al Tizon holds a PhD in missiology from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. He is affiliate professor of missional and global leadership at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, and lead pastor of Grace Fellowship Community Church in San Francisco, where he and his wife reside. He has been engaged in community development, church leadership, advocacy, and urban ministry both in the Philippines and the United States. His books include Whole & Reconciled: Gospel, Church, and Mission in a Fractured World.