Christian Frontline Series: The Christian and Money - Hansruedi Graf
John Scarsbrook, Killamarsh, England
Paperback, 94 pages, Chapter Two, Fountain House, 3 Conduit Mews, London, SE18 7AP, United Kingdom ISBN 978-1-85307-257-4.
Programmes or articles about money are usually deadly boring. Who can listen to ‘Moneybox Live’, or read the financial pages of their newspaper without their pulse slowing to 40 b.p.m. and fear of slipping in and out of consciousness?
It is refreshing, then, to come across this slim volume which manages to deal readably with an important subject from a biblical standpoint. The author avoids making money itself a thing of importance, emphasizing, rather, that it is our attitude to it that God is interested in. The reader finishes the book with a clear understanding that financial success from a spiritual point of view is not simply a matter of how much money we accumulate, but how we handle it in the Lord’s service, whether we have much or little.
A popular secular lyricist misquoted the scripture as, ‘Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today’, but our author sets the record straight, ‘money itself is neutral, but our relationship with it strongly influences our lives’ and the book is at pains to bring out what the Bible has to say about how to conduct that relationship.
The most technical passage is in the section headed ‘Money and possessions during different times in history’ where the Christian’s relationship with money and this world’s goods is carefully distinguished from that of the faithful in Israel before the Lord Jesus came. This exposes the error of the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ where people are promised earthly riches if they become Christians; even this section is clear and easy to read.
‘Practical instructions for handling money’, deals with the matters of debt, savings, giving, budgeting, employment and ethics. Without sounding horribly like ‘Moneybox Live’, the book provides not too heavy, financially well-informed common sense, based on relevant Bible verses.
The third section notes the fact that many of the Lord’s parables use a financial framework to make their point. However, rather than following the main point of the parable the author looks at the way that the principles he has already brought out are illustrated in the Lord’s teaching. This is fresh and effective, as is the book as a whole.
[Thanks to John Stewart, Killamarsh, Derbyshire, England for this review].