Review Details

When Helping Hurts

Product Review (submitted on March 11, 2010):
The classic shortfall in the modern church is that those on ‘the left’ have no regard for biblical truth, whereas those on ‘the right’ have no desire for social action. This book is thoroughly biblically based, yet speaks clearly and soberly about social action.
The book is spectacularly well-researched, and shows that most traditional methods of serving the poor doesn’t actually do that much to solve the problem – in most cases it actually makes it worse.
In terms of the content this book gets five out of five. It’s well written, addresses real needs in a biblical and logical way, and presents real-life examples of what works in alleviating poverty.
My only concern is that the practical action required after reading this book can’t really be carried out by your average Christian – this book would be best read by church leaders.
In terms of the narration there are two things which jump to mind. Firstly, the narrator’s voice is, I think, a bit of an acquired taste. I didn’t mind it, but it’s certainly got a lot of character in comparison to other audiobooks, which other listeners may not appreciate. Also, there’s something in the recording which is simply odd – when quoting Scripture, the narrator always includes the word ’says’ – e.g. ‘Jesus, while in conversation with Nicodemus, said, John 3:16 says ‘for God…” – and that just adds an almost humorous surrealism to the book, which isn’t really what you need with this subject matter.
Overall then – this is a superb book. Good foundations, good research, good communication, good message…but too little practical application for my personal taste. Nine out of ten!
I got this book for free as part of’s book reviewer programme. I’m not required to give a positive review.