Mark Jr.'s Reviews > When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett
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's review
Aug 31, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2014

Our help to needy people should come in three stages: relief, rehabilitation, and development. Hurricane victims need relief—right away. But we can hurt others–and ourselves—if we insist on doling out relief when what they need is (personal) rehabilitation and (community) development. It's easier, in a way, to just give money to buy relief. But the personal work it takes to go on to further stages is daunting, not least because as regenerated people we know that a needy persons truest needs are spiritual. I have been there: while handing out money or food, I doubt whether I'm really doing what my recipient needs most.

Corbett and Fikkert work at the Chalmers Center, associated with Covenant College, and helping Christians help the poor is what they do. They are alert to the need to keep the gospel central, and offer careful thinking for conservative Christians whose Bible tells them to give to the least of these.

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