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Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (and How to Reverse It)

Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (and How to Reverse It)

Paperback

By (author) Robert D. Lupton

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  • Publisher: HarperOne
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 198mm x 15mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 22 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0062076213
  • ISBN 13: 9780062076212
  • Sales rank: 47,284

Product description

Churches and charities have fallen into the bad habit of creating programs to help the poor when in reality the only people they are helping are themselves, creating a toxic charity that needs to be reexamined and fixed. In this groundbreaking book, Lupton shows how good-intentioned people are actually hurting the very people they're trying to help. The poor end up feeling judged, looked down upon, only worthy of charity and handouts that end up making them more dependent instead of learning skills to help themselves. Churches and charitable organizations, though good-intentioned, have missed the mark when it comes to serving the poor, creating a toxic form of charity. Lupton says that a better system would be to treat the poor as business partners, empowering them to start businesses, build houses, plan communities, etc. Lupton offers specific organizations that are following this healthier model of charity and gives practical ideas for how to get involved in service projects that truly help. Together, we can serve our world in a way that actually effects life-altering change.

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Author information

Robert D. Lupton is founder and president of FCS Urban Ministries (Focused Community Strategies) and the author of Theirs Is the Kingdom; Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life; and the widely circulated "Urban Perspectives."

Review quote

"Lupton says hard things that need to be said, and he's earned the right to say them. Believers would do well to receive his words with the mindset that 'faithful are the wounds of a friend.'" -- Christianity Today "[Lupton's] new book, Toxic Charity, draws on his 40 years' experience as an urban activist in Atlanta, and he argues that most charitable work is ineffective or actually harmful to those it is supposed to help." -- Washington Post "Lupton's work, his books and, most importantly, his life continue to guide and encourage me to live and serve in a way that honors God and my neighbor. I highly recommend Toxic Charity." -- Danny Wuerffel, Executive Director, Desire Street Ministries "Lupton's book reminds us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. He shows how the people called poor can be blessed by supporting opportunities for them to give their gifts, skills, knowledge and wisdom to creating the future." -- John McKnight, Codirector, Asset Based Community Development Institute, Northwestern University "A must-read book for those who give or help others." -- Booklist "In Toxic Charity, Lupton reminds us that being materialistically poor does not mean that there is no capacity, no voice, and no dignity within a person. If we truly love the poor, we will want to educate ourselves on how best to serve. Let our charity be transformative not toxic." -- Roger Sandberg, Executive Director of Medair International "A superb book. Toxic Charity should serve as a guide and course correction for anyone involved in charitable endeavors at home or abroad." -- Ronald W. Nikkel, President, Prison Fellowship International "Toxic Charity provides the needed counterbalance to a kind heart: a wise mind. Though I often thought, "Ouch!" while I was reading the book, Robert Lupton gave this pastor what I needed to become a more effective leader." -- Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland -- A Church Distributed "When Bob Lupton speaks of the inner city, the rest of us ought to sit up and take notice... [His work is] deeply distrurbing--in the best sense of the word." -- Philip Yancey, author of What Good Is God? "Top 10 book of the year." -- World Magazine