I like it.
And I don't.
He's extreme in some of his ideas although I can completely see why - working with lepers in Calcutta with Mother Teresa would do that to a person. I don't think there is a bad thing about his extremity, it's just that I couldn't do it myself. I think Shane would be OK with that. He is very gracious and willing to allow for other's convictions. That's one of the things I like about his book - he is no legalistic in his compassion.
Here are some of the points that I really, really like about his book:
The idea that people want to give to the poor, but often don't know how to, or give in unhelpful ways because the wealthy are so separated from the poor. He points to that distance or separation as the real problem, not that people do no care or want to help.
I've seen this myself in the small ways that I try to be involved. After the recent peanut butter recall, our Haiti team had to go through bins of peanut butter that had been donated to sort out the bad stuff. I went to help. As I was sorting I came across a jar of "Fat-Free Peanut Butter" and laughed because they were obviously buying for a fat American rather than a malnourished Haitian. Often in our desire and hurry to help we give something that is useless to the person we are giving to, or maybe even offensive because we simply are so removed from their lifestyle that we have no clue what is truly helpful. His main idea is that we need to live in closer relationship with the poor and truly know them. Then we become part of a family with them and our perspective will change.
Along that same line of thinking, he encourages us to move beyond charity to justice. Rather than just giving (that's good too) he encourages followers of Jesus to get more involved in changing some of the unjust situations that cause poverty to make a positive change in the world.
The book is also an easy and enjoyable read. He includes many personal stories that are quite interesting. Besides, he's a U2 and Rich Mullins fan and Tony Campolo was his professor at Eastern University, so he can't be too bad.
If you've not picked up a copy of this book, I would highly recommend it.