Award-winning scientist Dr. Scott Todd challenges the Christian community to help end extreme poverty in his new book, Hope Rising.
Broken into five parts, Dr. Todd explains the reasoning behind poverty’s grip on the global community and provides faith-based answers to questions of skepticism and hopelessness. His central claim is that low expectations stall the eradication of poverty in this generation.
“It’s one of the biggest barriers to accelerating our progress against poverty… If you expect something to be the way it is, you don’t do anything about it,” says Dr. Todd. “And you confront that. You say ‘Well, why are my expectations low? Is that justified?’”
Offering insightful and startling facts on the current state of poverty, Dr. Todd hopes to inform others on the reality of the cause and transform doubts into opportunity.
“One of the key messages of the book, and our desire, is to raise people’s knowledge of the truth. Expose the disconnect between this perception that it’s actually getting worse next to the inarguable facts,” explains Dr. Todd.
“It’s decades of solid data: child mortality rates cut in half, measles cut by 71 percent, malaria cut in half. In 1981, 52 percent of the world’s population was living on less than $1.25 a day. Now we’re down to 21 percent. That’s a 31 point drop and we have 21 percent to go…Exposing believers to that truth allows us to celebrate,” he says. “And we need to celebrate this because it’s good.”
Hope Rising calls for a shift in the hearts and minds of Christians and the Church, but encourages other societal functions (government, business) to modify their response to poverty. Ultimately, Dr. Todd wants readers to stay engaged in the cause and to know that their generosity is significant.
“The most important thing that they [the readers] need to hear is that it matters. That little step, that little action, it matters. It is working. It is getting better. It’s actually possible to bring an end to this kind of suffering.”
Dr. Scott Todd is the Senior Vice President for Global Advocacy at Compassion International. Hope Rising is his first book.