- Language: English
- ASIN: B004745WSK
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,397,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves [Paperback] Paperback – 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
There are several benefits from this book. Since most people read book reviews to try and determine whether they want to buy and read the book, let me mention those benefits.
It doesn't just pick on the Church or her leaders. This book is personal; it will pick on you. It was deeply convicting to me as I read it. I realized that as many times as I have been moved by stories about the fatherless and the widow, the poor and the sick, I am not purposefully living for my life, and leading that of my family, to intersect with these members of society. I have forsaken the needy by my enslavement to convenience and stuff. My house is conveniently situated away from poverty. I hardly see the needy. And then there is my busyness. All my important tasks that keep me far away spending myself on "behalf of the hungry" (Is. 58:10) are often where I find my own significance and worth. I am convicted that although I hold to the position that all humans are created in the image of God, I don't live as such. And I realize that I do have a god-complex (although every time I read that phrase in the book, my first reaction was, "No I don.....okay, I do. I do.").
The authors are not writing from lofty chairs in academia. They pen their own confessions.Read more ›
This book is far from a typical, tired, social gospel guilt trip. The authors begin by building a theologically sound foundation by defining the true nature and mission of Jesus, His church and the Gospel. It is only out of that correct understanding of the Gospel that truly beneficial social ministry can occur. From there, they lay out their case that much of what is done in the name of Christian charity is not beneficial. They do not shy from their belief that, "when North American Christians do attempt to alleviate poverty, the methods used often do considerable harm to both the materially poor and the materially non-poor." They further state that their concern, "is not just that these methods are wasting human, spiritual, financial, and organizational resources but that these methods are actually exacerbating the very problems they are trying to solve."
The authors did not just take the opportunity of this book to rant against what they see as wrong. In addition to accurately depicting what is wrong, they do an outstanding job of pointing out a better way.Read more ›
What I Liked
The authors of this book have a clear love for the poor, but not the sort of adopt-a-stray-puppy love that many wealthy folks have toward those less fortunate. The truth is, sometimes adopting a poor person or people group as your pet project might harm them and you, and Christians need to know this truth for themselves.
I found the authors' description of different kinds of poverty very helpful. Not all people who we think of as poor are impoverished in the same ways. The poor could have extra need for healing in their relationship to God, self, others, or the rest of creation. This book addresses all these categories.
The authors also do very well when pointing Christians toward more than one kind of aid that a poor person might need. While our gut reflex is to give immediate relief in the form of food, money, or service to someone in need, the authors wisely attempt to guide readers to a bigger-picture approach. Sometimes immediate relief is needed. Sometimes rehabilitation or skill-development is more appropriate. The authors show us how wise decision-making in this category can be a life-saver for the needy and the helper alike.
What I Did Not Like
While much of the book is very solid, I have to confess that this book simply grew hard to read after a while.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why is book gets so many very positive reviews is beyond me. It was a very difficult read if you are like me and take what you read to heart. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Myra Grapa
A refreshing look at how to biblical care for those in need. This book helped open my eyes on how to better reach those in the name of Christ alone which will provide the lasting... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
We can be guilty of helping too much, and actually cripple them, keeping them from achieving all they could be. This is a good book that helps us understand why.Published 3 months ago by MK
I'm the Short Term Missions Coordinator at a large church in Manhattan. I have very strong feelings against this heavy-handed, judgmental book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Brian
Material is excellent especially when your church is more involved with global ministry in developing countries.Published 5 months ago by John O Flahn
Must-read for anyone in missions, absolutely! It opened my eyes a lot to things I'd never even thought about, and I'm 60 years young!😊Published 8 months ago by Dave