Whole Life Offering Book Excerpt 3 of 6: The Severing of Christianity and Philanthropy Distorts Both

Today, even in its broadest usage, philanthropy is used to describe action originating not among gods but among human beings. The most well-known expression of philanthropy is not direct contact, warm relationship, or unwavering, unwarranted beneficence but rather the giving of money—typically in large quantities, and through intermediaries like foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Further, philanthropy is a word rarely associated with Christianity, either by Christians or non-Christians. That there are Christian philanthropists is of course widely acknowledged; that philanthropy is the essence or the core of Christianity is a statement that is simply never made. The philosophical ground has not been so much ceded as abandoned: for Christian and non-Christian alike, philanthropy demarcates turf distinctly human, not divine.

This is more than a curious etymological development. It is an invitation to examine whether the severing of the two concepts—Christianity and philanthropy—has impoverished and perhaps even distorted both.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, The Whole Life Offering: Christianity as Philanthropy, scheduled for release in January 2011.)

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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2 Responses to Whole Life Offering Book Excerpt 3 of 6: The Severing of Christianity and Philanthropy Distorts Both

  1. Don Riker says:

    Eric,

    Each excerpt increases my anticipation for the publication of your book. Blessings as you finish what the Lord has given you to say.

    Don

    • EFoley says:

      Thanks, Don–looking forward to sharing more of the material in workshop form with you and the Memphis Leadership Foundation at the end of this month!

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