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Unexpected News: Reading the Bible With Third World Eyes [Paperback]

By Brown (Author)
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Item description for Unexpected News: Reading the Bible With Third World Eyes by Brown...

This is a mind-changing book that seeks to transform attitudes in North American churches. A book on how and why to read the scriptures.

Publishers Description

In "Unexpected News," Robert McAfee Brown looks at ten biblical texts through a new lens. Brown's analysis is concerned with how our reading of the Bible is dependent on our experiences and worldview. Brown sets out to understand how "third world Christians," that is, Christians who live in poverty and powerlessness, interpret the Bible. Brown argues that by reading the Bible in new ways, we can learn more about other cultures as well as gain a new understanding of the biblical message.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   168
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.08" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.47"
Weight:   0.48 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 1988
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664245528  
ISBN13  9780664245528  

Availability  146 units.
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More About Brown

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Larissa Golden Brown is a partner in Brown and Brown Consultants which helps nonprofit organizations streamline their grant-seeking process and fund their plans and dreams. Brown also spe-cializes in grants coaching and instruction inspiring people to take on their own fundraising. Her clients have included the Oregon Children's Foundation, The Salvation Army, Community Outreach, Inc., Portland Opera, and Sisters Of The Road Cafe.

Martin John Brown is a partner in Brown and Brown Consultants. He is a scientist turned writer whose work has appeared in High Country News, Venue magazine, The Bear Deluxe, and other publications.

Brown has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Jossey-Bass Nonprofit and Public Management Series

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Topical
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion

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Reviews - What do customers think about Unexpected News: Reading the Bible With Third World Eyes?

A deep insight into faith and justice  May 17, 2008
I read Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes as part of a 30-week JustFaith program. We read 13 books in total, and this was one of my favorites. Robert McAfee Brown redefines "poor," pointing out with great clarity that no matter how much those of us in developed countries complain, we are rich in terms of anyone in the Third World. Brown takes Bible stories--the Prodigal Son, for instance--and interprets them differently than we might have heard in church.
More good news about this book--it has a sense of humor. Brown made me laugh out loud more than once, especially as he dealt with the issues of women in religion.
This book would be a wonderful Bible study addition for anyone, or an excellent read for any individual interested in an insight into seeking justice for those who possess none.
very good, eye-opening ... spicy, too!  May 28, 2002
This book was challenging, convicting and exciting. Brown writes humorously and concisely. At times he writes a bit too epigramatically or too much in pseudo-journalese. Brown closes humbly: he admits he's as guilty of greed and complacency as we are.

My favorite aspect of this book is that it is not just a book *about* liberation theology. This a *devotional* based on liberation theology (in fact, this was my devotional on and off for half a year). Happily, Brown includes whole passages of scripture for study. True, the third world (better, "two-thirds world") interpretations are jarring. For example, the OT reality behind Jesus quoting (and most Bibles mistranslating!) Isaiah's "day of the Lord's favor" almost knocked me out of my seat (see Luke 4).

Two other virtues of this book are 1) that Brown examines other parallel passages in each chapter (to provide a larger biblical basis), and 2) the pointed questions and scenarios Brown poses at the end of each chapter. This book is good for private or group study or just straight reading. Also, Brown offers a good list for further reading.

Some of the other reviews of this book are revealing. Why do we USAmericans get so upset about our capitalism and our money? Because our hearts (and our emotions) are where our treasure is, and vice versa? Why do we have so many problems with these "radical, militant, Marxist" liberation theologians? Because they point out how the God of the Bible has problems with greed, rugged individualism and national elitism? Why do we see Brown and "his ilk" twisting Scripture and eisegeting Marxism into the Bible? Because we don't like to hear Scripture echoed from the nouths of those for and by whom it was written: the poor and oppressed? If the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (I Tim 6:10) and if you cannot serve both God and money (Matt 6:24), why do we cling so firmly to money? What would the big loss be anyway in losing our economic clout -- if we truly hope for *heavenly* riches? The more you live and share with "the least of these" (Matt 25:31ff), I've found, the less radical Brown, et al. sound. Raving neo-McCarthyists deal the Bible a grave blow by capitulating social justice and economic parity into the hands of Marxists. Marx subverted God's Word to his ends (he was raised a Jew, remember), not the other way around.

I am looking for more contemporary books of this nature (it was published in 1984), but will probably "just settle for" reading Gutierrez, Romero, Arrupe, et al. -- precisely what Brown would hope for his readers to do, I think. (PS, I recommend Haugen's _Good News About Injustice_ and Are's _Israeli Peace, Palestinian Justice_. I also recommend watching _Romero_ and _The Mission_ for some liberation visuals!)

Jesus Christ as Activist  Feb 4, 2002
I really liked this book and it opened my eyes to a fresh interpretation of the Bible... I started thinking of all the things that never seem to get mentioned when I go to church... I looked at Communion in a completely different light... I saw the Good Samaritan story for what it is... When I listen to a televangelist going on and on about Faith in Christ it seems like they're just trying to convince themselves... I accept Christ... Now lets move on to what he told us to do... Robert McAfee Brown shows how the Christianity of the rich is like watered down milk toast... Every time I turn to some Christian radio program it's always about the evils of homosexuality, alcohol or adultery... It's like a broken record with these guys... I've studied every religion of the world and I never really considered converting to Christianity till I read Unexpected News... I don't see this book as Marxist propaganda... I see it as the only antidote to the Capitalist-Communist conundrum... Jesus spoke truth to power... He stood up to the religious leaders of the time and I'm sure he would have stood up to the Communists as well... The status quo church of today wants you to believe but they don't want you to actually walk in the footsteps of Christ because we would have too many people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King running around changing things... I've heard so-called Christians tell me, "Oh you don't have to do anything like that... Christ did it all for you... You just have to believe." I feel like saying, "I already believe... I just want to know what to do!" This book challenges you to actually do something...
Thoughtful Perspective Encourages Action, Responsibility  Mar 30, 2000
In this book, the author explores the fundamental beliefs of Liberation Theology, common in much of Latin America. Yet he goes further, selecting 10 specific Bible passages, and interpreting them from another perspective.

I found this book extremely thought-provoking. While there are portions that I personally do not agree with, many of Brown's comments will forever color my reading of the Bible. What does it mean that Jesus favored the poor and oppressed? What does that mean for me, as a North American Christian? Brown points a finger at every reader, saying that we have a responsibility to take an active role in helping those around us -- whether that be next door or around the world.

The author may step on a few toes as he goes about making his point, but I firmly agree with him. The rest of the world has a distict perspective on the Bible, and we need to realize that North America does not have a monopoly on Christianity.

In regards to the prevailing Marxist theme, I lived in Central America for four months and saw firsthand many of the realities that brought about the formation of this theology. Socialism, when God is brought into the picture, is not the evil that the United States likes to depict. In many impoverished countries and to many people, it is one of the few options to improve the quality of life.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with the courage to question entrenched beliefs and see life and Scripture through the eyes of much of the impoverished world -- all two-thirds of it.


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