Friday, February 22, 2008

50 Facts...

The other night I ventured to Barnes and Noble to spend some time reading without having to purchase any literature. There are a couple of books that I would like to read but don't want to buy, so I plan on just reading them over a cup of hot chocolate and a giant cookie over the next few months. One of the books is Barack Obama's new book "The Audacity of Hope", while the other is the book recently made into movie, "Into the Wild," by Jon Krakauer.

On my way to the bookshelf to pick up Obama's book, however, I stumbled upon an interesting looking read called "50 Facts that Should Change the World", by Jessica Williams (this link allows you to read the book word for word on the internet). This was a great read, full of incredibly interesting and monumentally important facts about the world we live in. Some of the facts were simply humorous and told a story about our current lifestyles, like "There are 161 Starbucks in a 5 mile radius from one London intersection." This book is not a "Christian" book, but many of the facts really made me think about the trends of our world and what the church should be doing about them. Here are some examples:
  • Every cow in the European Union is subsidized by $2.50 a day. That's more than what 75% of Africans have to live on
  • One in five of the world's people live on less than $1 a day
  • There are 67,000 people employed in the lobbying industry in Washington DC--125 for each elected member of Congress
  • Everyday, one in five of the world's population--some 800 million people--go hungry
  • 150,000 people die every year from global warming
I believe that God's heart breaks at the truth of these statements and that the gospel of Jesus Christ really does have something to say about falsifying each fact. I am so excited to be going to a school where these types of statistics are important to study because of the belief that the gospel really can change the world. May we partner with God in His redemptive work in the world and not simply add to the problems.


  1. Just curious - how do people die from global warming?

  2. I think the book is using information that assumes that some deaths from things like heat exhaustion are happening more often and are the result of global warming. They cited a case in this millennium where 52,000 people died in one summer somewhere in Europe (sorry I can't remember details--if I owned the book I would quote it) from extreme heat exhaustion, where the temperature rarely dropped below 110 degrees for an entire month.

    Sorry I can't be more clear about that. The point of including that fact in my blog was to state my opinion that the church as a whole should be on the cutting edge of living a 'green' life and caring for God's creation. Thanks for asking.

  3. I am glad that you posted this to your site Jason. It is so easy to become jaded, to think that the problems of this world are so big that we cannot possibly do anything about them. But that is not true, because we stand as Christ's ambassadors to this world. And it is so easy to become complacent, to not even see what is out there for most people because we live in such comfort. Thank you for the reminder that we are called to be Christ to the world.