Books and Book Reviews on Helping Those in Need


Book Review: From Prophecy to Charity How to Help the Poor by Lawrence M. Mead, 4 Stars

Lawrence M. Mead was one of the theoretical architects of welfare reform of the 1990’s. This book focuses on identifying the cause of poverty and the cure.From Prophecy to Charity is worth reading for those whose aim is to develop the objectives of organizations and governments seeking that provide services for the poor.  It is a short book, 108 pages, and should be regarded as a brief introduction from a public policy perspective to the topic of poverty.

Friday Book Review: The PovertyCure DVD Series, 5 Stars

For anyone who believes that poverty is essentially lack of stuff or that the primary cure for poverty is giving stuff to people who don’t have it, this DVD series is for you. Instead of asking how to reduce poverty this video explores how the developing world has created prosperity for their families and communities.

 Book Review: Ministries of Mercy by Timothy J. Keller, 5 Stars

Pastor Tim Keller has combined his experience with mercy ministries New York, his ability to communicate, and sound biblical teaching to produce an essential guide for churches who are developing their ministry to the poor. Keller opens by stating that, “Mercy to the full range of human needs is such an essential mark of being a Christian that it can be used as a test of true faith.” I would recommend this book for any church leader who is developing a ministry of mercy or any believer who has a vision for expanding ministries of mercy in his or her local church.

Book Review: To Transform a City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City by Eric Swanson, Sam Williams, 5 Stars

Since 2007, more people live in cities around the world than in rural areas for the first time in history. This trend is unlikely to change. To Transform a City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel moves beyond the call to evangelism or even church planting in the cities. The authors describe a whole new measure of church health: the health of the city. This book is worth reading. You’ll find yourself wanting to buy copies and give them to others who have a vision for reaching their whole city or those who know that a healthy church’s ministry should be much more than programs at the church building for its members.

Book Review: Toxic Charity by Robert D. Lupton, 5 Stars

It normally doesn’t occur to good-hearted people that charity can cause harm. For many, the solution to a need is to simply give a gift. The need is eliminated isn’t it? Robert Lupton points out that gifts that are indiscriminately and regularly given erode the recipient’s personal dignity and initiative. A more useful approach is to take the time to understand and address the root causes of the need in community rather than just temporarily meet the needs of individuals. If you are involved in any kind of ministry to the needy or are considering getting involved, this book is worth reading.