Power and Poverty: Divine and Human Rule in a World of Need, By Dewi Hughes

Power and Poverty

Divine and Human Rule in a World of Need

by Dewi Hughes
Foreword by Christopher J. H. Wright

Power and Poverty
  • Length: 253 pages
  • Published: February 04, 2009
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2809
  • ISBN: 9780830828098

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Author and theologian Dewi Arwel Hughes's conviction is that the suffering, through poverty, of such a vast number of people in our day is overwhelmingly the result of the misuse of power by others. In this wide-ranging, challenging book he unpacks a convicting thesis: that poverty has to do with the way in which we human beings use and abuse the power God gave us when he created us.

Hughes challenges you to reconsider your assumptions regarding power, poverty and Christian identity, and he provides biblical perspectives to enable you to both understand the causes of poverty and help in overcoming it.

"The world is dying from bad theology—bling-bling prosperity preachers and bomb-blessing patriotic pastors. Folks like Dewi Hughes are theological paramedics trying to rescue us all from the sort of theology that gets people killed and leads to fragile systems where markets collapse. Hughes offers another, ancient vision of what the world could look like—where the poor, not just the middle class, are blessed and where the peacemakers, not the peacekeeper missiles, are close to the heart of God."

Shane Claiborne, author, activist and recovering sinner (thesimpleway.org)

"Poverty is an endemic problem, unnecessary in a world where there are sufficient resources to satisfy everyone's needs, though not everyone's greed. In Power and Poverty: Divine and Human Rule in a World of Need, Dewi Hughes has succeeded in showing that if there are people who are poor, that is because there are people who are able to use power to oppress them. In other words, the root of poverty is the misuse of power. At the same time, the author has convincingly argued that the best antidote to poverty is provided in terms of the biblical narrative that begins in Genesis and culminates in Jesus Christ. I can hardly think of a call more urgently needed today than the call he makes to Christians to express their faith in God by doing what is right and just and by letting the Spirit of God use them to overcome poverty. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!"

C. René Padilla, President Emeritus, Kairos Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina

"This is a unique and powerful book. It's only secondarily a book about poverty—primarily it offers a rich biblical theology focused on God's rule and how God's people must respond to that rule in an unjust world. This book is a great example of today's Christian leaders going back to the very core of our faith, equipped by cutting-edge biblical research and theological reflection, in order to respond to the horrendous suffering all around us. Its integrity is only enhanced by knowing that its author, Dewi Hughes, and the organization he serves, Tearfund, are busy each day serving the poor. This book is an indispensable contribution to the life of the global church. Highly recommended."

David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University, and president, Evangelicals for Human Rights

"Power and Poverty is challenging, inspiring and compelling. In fact, Dewi Hughes has produced a 'substantial theological work' of prophetic hopefulness. Courageously tackling the possibility of a world without poverty, Hughes doesn't sound like a utopian idealist but a biblical realist motivated by a deep and rich faith. The book is an important sign and symbol of where current sociological, philosophical and theological trends must locate themselves as thoughtful Christians engage power, poverty and the kingdom of God."

Christopher L. Heuertz, international director, Word Made Flesh, and author of Simple Spirituality: Learning to See God in a Broken World

"I . . . highly recommend Power and Poverty, as it provides yet another valuable contribution to the ongoing efforts to further explore the relationship between biblical theology, ethics, and economic development."

Nicholas R. Brown, Biblical Theology Bulletin, Volume 40

"An intriguing read about the roots of power and faith."

James A. Cox, Library Bookwatch, July 2009

"As one who has spent time working biblically and practically on poverty issues, I have longed for a significant resource like Hughes has here provided. It will serve as a refernce and guide for a good time to come."

Mark L. Russell, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, October 2009


Foreword by Christopher Wright
Part 1: Old Testament
1. Finding the Roots of Poverty in Genesis 1-11
2. God's Covenant with Abraham and Its Significance in the History of Redemption
3. Divinely Ordained Government in the Old Testament
4. The Laws to Prevent Poverty
5. Welfare Law and What It Implies About Being Poor
6. The Glory and Inadequacy of the Mosaic Covenant

Part 2: Jesus and the Final Revelation of Divine Government
7. Jesus the Supreme Ruler
8. What Jesus Did: The Acts of the Supreme Ruler
9. What Jesus Taught: The Beatitudes
10. What Jesus Taught: Strategies for Kingdom Living
11. What Jesus Is Doing: The Work of the Holy Spirit
12. What Jesus Is Going to Do: The Final Judgment

Part 3: God's Governed Society--The Church
13. The Ordered Society of the Supreme Ruler
14. The Church Is a Joyful Community
15. The Church Is a Community Who Speaks God's Words

Epilogue: Which Story Are We In?
Select Bibliography
Index of Scripture References


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Dewi Hughes

Dewi Hughes is theological adviser to Tearfund, an international relief organization based in London, and a member of the Lausanne Movement's Theological Working Group. He is author of Has God Many Names? and God of the Poor.