Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Effective Compassion

Sponsor a Child’s Education

There are details about how you can sponsor a child to receive an education at the new Christian Primary School in Kabala, Sierra Leone at the project’s blog. The school is an effort pursued by Fraser Valley Christian High School in Surrey, British Columbia, in conjunction with Christian Extension Services in Sierra Leone. Continue Reading...

Visit to Project Hope

This morning Karen Weber and I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of pastors and church leaders organized by a local ministry, Project Hope Annetta Jansen Ministries, based in Dorr, Michigan. Continue Reading...

Poverty and the Christian Left

There is clearly a "Christian Left" growing among evangelicals in America. We have heard a great deal about the "Christian Right" for more than two decades. I frequently critique this movement unfavorably. Continue Reading...

The Greatest Mercy

Words of prudential wisdom from Richard Baxter: ‘In doing good prefer the souls of men before the body, ‘cæteris paribus.’ To convert a sinner from the error of his way is to save a soul from death, and to cover a multitude of sins [James v. Continue Reading...

Faith-Based Organizations Measure Success

Here’s a recommended read for anyone interested in measuring the effectiveness of a faith-based charity. The Heritage Foundation has published a special report titled, “Outcome-Based Evaluation: Faith-Based Social Service Organizations and Stewardship” by Patrick F. Continue Reading...

Kristof on Kiva

Today’s NYT has an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof recommending the work of micro-finance organizations, like Kiva, whom we’ve mentioned before. Kristof writes in “You, Too, Can Be a Banker to the Poor” (TimesSelect) that “Small loans to entrepreneurs are now widely recognized as an important tool against poverty.” He also rightly observes that “Web sites like Kiva are useful partly because they connect the donor directly to the beneficiary, without going through a bureaucratic and expensive layer of aid groups in between.” This is an aspect of globalization and the connectedness of the Internet that we rarely hear about. Continue Reading...

Better than JFK

Joe Knippenberg reflects on President Bush’s speech earlier this week about advancing social justice in the Western Hemisphere: Bush has lots to say about encouraging what he calls “capitalism for the campesinos.” He ties this to “social justice,” by which he means, above all, “meeting basic needs” to education, health care, and housing so that people can “realize their full potential, their God-given potential.” But social justice, thus conceived, doesn’t require massively redistributive government action; rather, it requires unleashing the potential of individual initiative, sowing some seeds, and leveraging the efforts of non-governmental organizations, especially faith-based ones. Continue Reading...

A New School for Kabala

Oprah isn’t the only one opening a school in Africa. Fraser Valley Christian High School and Surrey Christian School in Canada have partnered together with Christian Extension Services in Sierra Leone, Africa to build a Christian Primary School in Kabala. Continue Reading...

Trickle-Down Decadence

Anthony Esolen, from the March issue of Touchstone: The most bountiful alms that the rich can give the poor, apart from the personal donation of their time and means, are lives of virtue to emulate. Continue Reading...

Creating Freedom, not Dependence

Via CrossLeft, which promises to bring “balance” to the Christian voice, this short and interesting piece from Larry James’s blog Urban Daily, which documents his reflections as “president and CEO for Central Dallas Ministries, a human and community development corporation with a focus on economic and social justice at work in inner city Dallas, Texas.” Says James, “If your goal is community and human development, you look for ways to avoid the creation of dependence or a neo-colonial approach to relief and compassion efforts.” Of course the realization of freedom, which revolves around asking the question, “Does a program prepare clients for independence, or does it keep them dependent?,” is one of the hallmarks of effective compassion. Continue Reading...