What They Say
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“In the new book, ‘Exodus from Hunger: We Are Called to Change the Politics of Hunger,’ David argues that we can end world hunger in our lifetime. He makes an passionate plea for all ordinary citizens, especially people of faith, around the country and the world, to muster up the political will to end global hunger. David combines an optimism born from faith and a down-in-the trenches approach to ending hunger. Since he’s a pastor and an economist, his combing of the two comes as no surprise. The pastor sees people moving out of poverty as part of “God moving in our time.” At the same moment, the former World Bank economist sees the economy as crucial. David relates that we ‘can moderate what the economy is doing to hungry and poor people and set the stage for rapid gains against hunger and poverty once the economy recovers. In fact, I think God is calling us to change the politics of hunger.’ Congratulations to David on the prize and the book.”
Everyone knows that hunger is an economic problem concerning food production, distribution, and consumption. Not everyone knows it is, at the same time, a theological problem concerning God’s will, purpose, and summons to us. David Beckmann has known that for a long time, and has worked long and effectively at the interface of economy and faith concerning food, abundance, and hunger. This book is his seasoned manifesto concerning his long-term passion that is a deep vexation among us. Those who read his book will be engaged by and recruited for this most urgent of issues. Economics makes the problem of hunger intractable, but the active purpose of God makes its resolution possible and compelling. Beckmann tells the truth in ways that empower!
“Exodus from Hunger” by David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and recipient of the 2010 World Food Prize, is the story of the best sort of back-room political conversations. Beckmann, a Lutheran minister with a degree from the London School of Economics, gives the history of how modest changes in national policy can, literally, put food on the tables of people who have been hungry every day of their lives.”
David Beckman’s book is a powerful, prophetic, and deeply personal call to action to end the scandal of hunger in our nation and world. His unique combination of fearless realism on the task we face and Christian hope on what we can accomplish together is just what we need in these tough times. He charts the road ahead and the policy, political, and spiritual paths we need to take to achieve the moral imperative of “hunger no more.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we have faith that God is at work redeeming the world. David Beckmann reminds us that this redemption includes delivering millions of people from the scourge of debilitating hunger and poverty in recent decades. But 1 billion people still await deliverance, and Exodus from Hunger issues a clear call for people of faith to be part of God’s response by changing the politics of hunger.
Bread for the World is the Christian community’s most effective advocate for US government policy changes that bring greater economic justice to God’s suffering world. David Beckmann has served this critically important organization faithfully as its leader for two decades. His new book, Exodus from Hunger, offers hugely important insights into the current status of poverty in our world today and efforts to reverse it, and suggests that God’s desire is a new “exodus from hunger” in which people of faith will play a key role–if we play our part. I strongly recommend this book and the vision it presents.
There is hope for ending hunger. David Beckmann, a Lutheran pastor and winner of the 2010 World Food Prize, sees God moving in our time to bring about an exodus from hunger. Identifying both dramatic progress and current challenges, he highlights the crucial role U.S. policy plays in overcoming global poverty. He calls on people of faith to make a difference by encouraging policies that help families escape the ravages of hunger and build lives of self-sufficiency. Beckmann identifies opportunities that exist right now to win changes addressing the root causes of poverty at home and abroad. This is a message for which the church and the world are hungry. As we strive daily to live out our calling to love and serve the neighbor, Beckmann’s book is a prayer of hope and possibility.
David Beckmann shows in this book that poverty is not the opposite of wealth but the opposite of justice. He shows how prioritizing legislative policies can not only make justice a reality but can eradicate poverty and hunger in a world of plenty. The biblical theme of exodus provides a paradigm that evokes the theme of freedom from want and release from oppression. The book is evocative, for it is not only descriptive but prescriptive for a liberation agenda that eradicates hunger and poverty.
David Beckmann will be my chief guide to solving world hunger from now on. His experience, expertise, and problem solving applications are just what I needed to help me understand and lead my church in battling hunger.
Originally founded by the pastor of a small church in a poor neighborhood, Bread for the World has always been a Christian citizen’s movement against hunger. For the last 20 years, David Beckmann has brought his own experience as a pastor, as well as his background as an economist, to the leadership of Bread. In Exodus from Hunger, David notes the progress that has been made against poverty and hunger, but convincingly points to the potential for far greater progress if individual Christians and churches will continue to offer grassroots compassionate care to those in need, while also boldly challenging our government to more generously and wisely participate with us in the battle against poverty and hunger. It was a message I needed to hear.
David Beckmann is a prophet for our time. I urge everyone who cares about the great problems of hunger and poverty, both globally and domestically, to read this book and to take to heart his call for full engagement in the political process. Beckmann names the issues—the tragedy of endemic poverty—with real clarity. But he also shows how people of faith and conscience can make a difference. And he offers hope borne of a confidence that God is the struggle.
This is the most compelling and convincing call written to date on the hope of ending hunger and poverty. People of faith tend to ignore a huge power they carry with them—the stewardship of their citizenship! David spells out how this power we carry can break down structures that keep people enslaved in poverty. Your faith will be greater than you know through reading this incredible challenge.
I consider it a privilege to endorse David Beckmann’s new book. I have the highest regard for him and his work. His program for reducing hunger here in our own country and throughout the world is truly worthwhile studying since these are the thoughts of a man who has given his life to such a noble cause.
One of David Beckmann’s most important contributions to the discussion of overcoming world hunger is his insistence that it is achievable. Here he makes his case based on what has already been accomplished and how such progress can continue. Beckmann also presents the biblical basis for people of faith calling the government to its appropriate responsibility. Influencing Congress, he argues, is an act of faith, not a sidetracking of the Gospel. Leaders of faith communities of all sorts can find here a resource for discussion of issues. Facts are presented and misconceptions about poverty are corrected. Beckmann’s bipartisan commitment makes this book useful to evangelicals, as well as mainline and Roman Catholic Christians, and people from other traditions and faiths.
Exodus from Hunger is the voice of encouragement and a call for action. From rural African villages to urban food deserts, everyday miracles are bringing glimpses of the end to hunger and poverty. With a lens for truth, David Beckmann shows that an exodus from the slavery of hunger requires more than local compassion. Solutions are at hand to change the business, the incentives, and the politics of hunger to fulfill God’s imagination for shalom in our world.
Exodus from Hunger, by David Beckmann, stands as a clarion call for the church to rise above political ideology and prophetically stand on a platform of righteousness and justice in order to deliver the hungry into the hands of hope. As a result, an anointed community will rise as the firewall against apathy and hopelessness as a generation once again commits to changing the world with fishes and bread.
“Whether you are a believer, as Beckman is, or not, Exodus from Hunger is a compelling call to action and service. Beckman makes the case well that the need is great but so are the resources. What is lacking is the will.”
Challenging and doable, Beckmann offers food for thought and action. Politics is not a dirty word—it is a tool for change, and when people of hope engage politically, effective change can and does happen. To learn how, read this book—and act!
For several decades, more and more Christians have been listening anew to the biblical summons to empower the poor and to do justice. David Beckmann’s Exodus from Hunger builds on that growing movement and provides a clear, concrete agenda for effective change that would dramatically reduce global poverty.
David Beckmann delivers a powerful “Macedonian call” to people of faith to engage in the battle to eradicate hunger. Beckmann presents a very compelling vision and strategy to ensure that every citizen of the world has equal access to the most basic of human needs, food. As president of Bread for the World, Beckmann is uniquely positioned to lead this movement of God.
Every person who cares about poor and hungry people should read Exodus from Hunger. It is written with clarity, integrity, and humility. Thanks be to God for David Beckmann and this passionate call to global justice.
This book brings together the social teaching and theological reflection of our faith and the way to translate it into effective action to change structures, policies, and— ultimately—lives. Hunger is very personal and has a face and a story. David brings theology and political action into provocative tension. For a Christian, it can change our life as both a believer and a citizen. It infuses hope into our dream for a future in which all share in the bounty of creation.
David Beckmann is a pastor, economist and activist who has dedicated his life to overcoming hunger and poverty. He deeply understands the importance of assisting people in need and the necessity of prophetic advocacy for justice. Exodus from Hunger tells how God is moving in history with a concern for the poor and invites us to join that movement. I commend it to all who are ready to accept the invitation.
David Beckmann’s book, Exodus from Hunger, comes at just the right moment—at a pivot point in history when a few focused people can reduce hunger and poverty for millions. Beckmann helps us connect the dots of faith, hope, love—and action—to the benefit of all countries, rich and poor. The book is educational, biblical, practical—and, yes, political (in a good way). If you have ever wondered, “what can just one person do?” here is your answer. It will perhaps surprise you: You can change the world.
Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)