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Compassion, Justice and the Christian Life: Rethinking Ministry to the Poor Paperback – April 20, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The urban landscape is changing and, as a result, urban ministries are at a crossroads. If the Church is to be an effective agent of compassion and justice, we must change our mission strategies. In this compelling book, Lupton asks tough questions about service providing and community building to help us enhance our effectiveness. Among the questions: What dilemmas do caring people encounter to faithfully carry out the teachings of Scripture and become personally involved with "the least of these?" What are some possible alternatives to the ways we have traditionally attempted to care for the poor? How do people, programs and neighborhoods move toward reciprocal, interdependent relationships? To effect these types of changes will require new skill sets and resources, but the possibilities for good are great.

About the Author

ROBERT D. LUPTON has invested more than 34 years in inner city Atlanta. He is a Christian community developer, an entrepreneur who brings together communities of resource with communities of need. Through Family Consultation Service Urban Ministries, which he directs, he has developed three mixed-income subdivisions, organized two multiracial congregations, started many businesses, created housing for hundreds of families and initiated a wide variety of human services. He earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Georgia. He speaks at conferences and churches across the nation, and consults with similar missions. His wife, Peggy, died in 2005.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Regal; 59943rd edition (April 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830743790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830743797
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Martin Brooks on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is written from a Christian perspective, but is far from your typical guilt trip on helping the poor. It is written from the vantage point of twenty five years of experience. The writer shares stories of interventions that worked well and other interventions that had unintended consequences. Anyone who is concerned about the poor and finding sustainable ways to help should read this book. Anyone considering "helping the poor" by giving away food or clothing or Christmas gifts should read this book before doing so. Anyone considering opening a business in an impoverished area should read this book. Too often we do things intending to help that in reality only salve our conscience and perpetuate the problems. This book will help you avoid many mistakes that have occurred in the past. You will find practical suggestions that will have a lasting impact and protect the dignity of those you intend to help.
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This is a must read for anyone who is doing urban ministry or interested in doing urban ministry or any christian in general. Bob lays it out in his usual fashion, poignant and practical. This book will not just stir you with emotion but it will lead you to compassion and a new way of thinking towards the poor. He provides tons of practical examples from his numerous years of service that could easily be done over and over again today. Please get this and please read it cover to cover!
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Format: Paperback
This book is an updated, contemporary look at transforming low income
communities from a faith-based based perspective. It deals with down to
earth topics such as gentrification,moving from charity to development,
transforming services into self help,economically viable enterprises.
Bob Lupton, the author, speaks personally from experience,
so the book rings with reality, yet is hopeful and inspiring.
Easy to read, but want to have around to share with others, particular
chapters for particular situations. It is a helpful handbook of the
Christian Community Developmet Association.
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I read this book because I saw that Robert Lupton had worked with John Perkins, chairing the board of Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) as well as served the inner city of Chicago for more than three decades. John Perkins is one of my heroes and he has mentored me by his books for more than 25 years. Mr. Lupton must have something to say about poverty, justice and making a difference. He also had something in the title that anyone who has worked with the poor for any length of time becomes aware of and that is the need for, "rethinking ministry to the poor." I was not disappointed in this simple but profound book and it is a must read for every church with outreach to the poor, every church leader, volunteer and business person.

This book starts with Jesus as our model and what he had to say about the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, evangelism, the Kingdom of God, doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God? If we are going to be like Jesus, our Gospel is going to be relevant for those whom we serve or those whom we develop. And the journey of this book started here, from betterment to community development, from developing food coops to buying land and having mixed income families in communities. I have read this book through twice. You will be so encouraged reading this book, even though it also shares the challenges and difficulties and downsides of loving our neighbor.

The worse kind of charity is doing for others what they can do for themselves. Mr. Lupton calls this betterment or doing for others whereas development enables others to do for themselves. Betterment begins with felt need but it cannot stay there. He gives wonderful examples of successes and failure.
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Format: Paperback
All charity is good, right? My church is charitable in our approach...isn't that enough?

Bob Lupton demonstrates, from personal experience and past failures, that good intentions are no longer enough. Actually, as he shares, truly helping people is very challenging. However, unless we use our minds, in addition to our hearts, we might actually perpetuate the problems we are trying to solve with our acts of of compassion.

Targeted at church leaders involved in urban ministry, but relevant for all, this book examines the status quo and is a thoughtful encouragement to think critically about the way in which we help. Pragmatically, it is a quick read, but packed with profound insights. Easy to read in one sitting...and I guarantee you will view "helping the poor" differently after finishing it.

Chris Horst
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The author outlines a well-developed, proven, Christian approach to solving the problem of urban poverty by revitalization of local communities and neighborhoods through the direct involvement of local churches.

Numerous insights regarding the flaws of modern entitlement programs - public, parochial, and private are detailed as well as a discussion of the advantages of "development" (teach a man to fish) vs. "betterment" (give a man a fish) programs.
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