In a helpful addition to the growing evangelical literature on poverty, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert argue persuasively that many well-meaning attempts to help the poor end up hurting them, as well as those trying to help. The book's title is unfortunate, connoting an overall pessimism toward helping the poor, when the authors are clearly passionate about the call to relieve the poor and oppressed. Corbett and Fikkert begin by laying out the biblical arguments that Christians are obligated to share what they have with those who have not, and to seek the welfare of whatever city they find themselves in, including (and especially) the least of its residents. The book is aimed primarily, however, at those who already understand and accept the biblical preference for the poor, but who have not yet heeded the full scope of biblical wisdom concerning how to help without doing greater damage.
Nathan Barczi is an economist, and an elder at Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife and son.
Issue: "No Girls Allowed" May/June 2012 Vol. 21 No. 3 Page number(s): 52-54
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