“So conservatives may advocate “compassionate, responsibility-based” solutions that can become paternalistic and even patronizing and are blind to many of the sociocultural factors contributing to the problems of poverty. The liberal orientation against “systemic injustice” can lead to anger, rancor, and division. Both views, ironically, become self-righteous. One tends to blame the poor for everything; the other tends to blame the rich for everything. One approach overemphasizes individual responsibility; the other underemphasizes it.” ~ Tim Keller in Center Church


What if someone in your church says, “We are helping him? Why, he’s not so bad off!” Here is a guiding idea. Jonathan Edwards applies the principle “love your neighbor as yourself” to this question. You don’t wait until you are absolutely destitute before you do something to change your condition; so then you shouldn’t help only the absolutely destitute people around you. Don’t be too narrow in your definition of “the poor.”” – Tim Keller in Center Church