Several people have recommended the book “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor and Yourself” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert so I ordered myself an early Christmas gift. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing insights from the book and inviting you to share insights from your own journey.
In the introduction the author states
“North American Christians are simply not doing enough. We are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth. Yet, most of us live as though there is nothing terribly wrong in the world… Many observers believe 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. Our 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.”
In the first chapter the author asks these foundational questions.
Why did Jesus come to earth?
What is the primary task church?
How we answer these questions will shape how we approach the materially poor.
I have just started reading the book and would love to know if anyone else out there has read it? If so, what were your take-a-ways?
How would you respond to the author’s introductory observation? Do you think North American’s do too little and do what we do in a way that causes harm?
How would you answer the authors foundational questions? Do you agree that our Christology and Ecclisiology shape the manner in which we engage the poor?
Hope you will join me on this journey through this highly praised book. If you don’t own it, you might want to add it to your Santa wish list. It looks like it is going to be a great read.