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Publisher's Summary

In his four decades of urban ministry, Robert D. Lupton has experienced firsthand how our good intentions can have unintended, dire consequences. We fly off on mission trips to poverty-stricken villages, hearts full of pity and suitcases bulging with giveaways - trips that one Nicaraguan leader describes as effective only in "turning my people into beggars."

In Toxic Charity, Lupton urges individuals, churches, and organizations to step away from these spontaneous, often destructive acts of compassion and toward thoughtful paths to community development. He delivers proven strategies for moving from toxic charity to transformative charity.Proposing a powerful "Oath for Compassionate Service", Lupton offers all the tools and inspiration we need to develop healthy, community-driven programs that produce deep, measurable, and lasting change. Everyone who volunteers or donates to charity needs to wrestle with this book.

©2011 Robert D. Lupton. (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A must-read book for those who give or help others." ---Booklist

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good first time

This was my first audio book through audible. I work at a food bank and had heard some people around the office talking about this book. Since I drive around quite a bit visiting our pantries, I thought this would be a perfect way to "read" this book.

Personally I am secular, so the Christian missionary aspect of this book was not something I could fully relate to, but I could appreciate it as an outsider and found it interesting.

As someone in a non profit service industry I thought this book was very thought provoking and I liked a lot of the author's insights.

As an audio book, I thought the narrator was good. Not monotonous, but not over active in his recitations. He was easy to follow and decently engaging.

I would definitely listen to it again, maybe next time not in a car so I can devote 100% of my attention to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • St. Louis, MO, United States
  • 11-17-15

Changed Everything

This book has changed the way I view my ministry in Peru where I have traveled four consecutive years to serve - as a "vacationary." I can't wait for others on my mission team to join me in reading Toxic Charity so we can all engage in productive discussions about where to go from here in *developing* and truly partnering with our partner church in that area. This book is excellent and thought-provoking. Highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

We need to rethink our charity motives.

We seem to have things twisted around. We want to help others but be don't seem to help them in a way that makes them grow to a point of helping them take care of themselves. Toxic Charity focused on helping them to have dignity in lifting themselves up instead of always being dependent on others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

changing status quo past mercy ministries

Past betterment toward sustainable development is the creative initiative we need to ignite an established bureaucratic church.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Human Services MUST.

If you could sum up Toxic Charity in three words, what would they be?

Informative, unapologetic, necessary.

What did you like best about this story?

Mr. Lupton says what needs to be said in regards to all that is working in a human services field. Not all of it is easy to hear but needs to be known. He has experience that only comes from the field no classroom. In a field that hates change his words are challenging and thought provoking.

Have you listened to any of Patrick Lawlor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Unknown.

Any additional comments?

If coming from a background of social work/ministry/missionary etc. you need this book! Don't be discouraged when you realize that change is necessary and may be fast approaching.

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Well written

loved it! Well written and articulated, voice over was engaging and not snobby. it kept my attention.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very little scriptural support

Found a lot of the language disrespectful & dehumanizing. Not sure which Gospel is being preached the one of Jesus or capitalism. Lastly doesn't deal with racism as a factor in poverty or social policy, where he does there is no empirical data presented to support his assertions.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Let's not help people

I thought this book was awful. Seriously let's talk about Christmas toy drives. The author wants them to be gone and have the parents either pay a couple of bucks or volunteer for a few hours to get a toy. Seriously?! A single mom who may already be busting her butt to just pay the bills may not have the time, money or energy to pay or volunteer for those toys. Forget the parents in this equation, the author is willing to take Christmas toys away from kids who don't have much or attach strings to the giving of toys?!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Read!

Taking global development courses and this was a wonderful resource for putting perspective on 'betterment vs development' and ensuring efforts are measurable, effective and sustainable for those individuals who are being assisted.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ed
  • 10-20-16

Challenging the reality of charity

This presentation gets the reader to examine the focus of "service." Is the good of serving to provide for the giver or recipient?