When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert image

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

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Every once in a while you come across a book that you wish you had read 20 years ago. Each page filled with underlinings and asterisks to indicate the stomach-punching power of the points being raised. When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert is such a book written about helping the poor.

Whether at a micro level of the beggar on the street or the macro level of disaster, malnutrition and education in the majority world, this is a book that every pastor and his flock should read.  It is not a book that condemns, it is written with candid humility but also avoiding simplistic solutions and manipulation.
 
It sets out clearly a biblical framework for engaging with these often complex issues that work through the social, economic, religious and political systems to separate wheat from chaff and build a biblical worldview of poverty.  The authors take you through many real life stories defining poverty and the difficult issues around the poor.
 
Perhaps the biggest challenge for us in the west is with what the authors term “God complexes” – that is, feeling sorry for a situation and seeking to bring immediate economic change by the giving of finance. Often this can simply reinforce a sense of inferiority in the materially poor and do more harm than good.
 
I believe this book needs to be in the hands of every pastor, every person thinking of mission to other nations, and all students visiting the majority world on a year out.

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