Monday, April 16, 2018

Practicing the King's Economy by Michael Rhodes and Robby Holt with Brian Fikkert

Every kingdom has an economic system and the authors present the system for the kingdom of God and what it looks like in the twenty-first century. What the authors present is certainly different than what has been promoted by the contemporary evangelical church. One might have thought that a free market economy and an emphasis on profit was God's gift to U.S. Christians.

These authors set the record straight, emphasizing what the Bible says about six areas. We read about worship and how money can be a source of idolatry. Another topic is community and how God wanted every Israelite to be a participant in that community. I was surprised by the section on work as the authors reminded me that Paul says the reason we work is so that we can share with others. (Eph. 4:28) The authors also write about equity, creation care, and rest (Sabbath).

Much of this teaching “...shatters our own contemporary economic ways of thinking.” (Loc 1580/5549) Our personal economic goals are to be centered around love of God and love of neighbor, not on personal gain.

The authors present their teaching on a topic in a chapter and then follow with a chapter of how the principles are being put into practice. Those stories are very encouraging and show that following the King's economy is much more rewarding than achieving financial gain. The authors also include practical ideas and resources for individuals and churches who decide to take positive action in following the King's economy.

I highly recommend this challenging book to every Christian. But don't read this book unless you want your financial practices severely challenged. This book would be an excellent one for church boards to read or, better yet, for an entire church to read. You will be encouraged by the generosity of God and inspired to reflect that generosity to others.

You can find out more about the book, download a free chapter and get other free resources at https://practicingthekingseconomy.org/. Other resources and information are available at https://www.chalmers.org/.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Michael Rhodes is the director of community development and an instructor at the Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies.
Robby Holt is the senior pastor at North Shore Fellowship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a teacher and theological dean for the Chattanooga Institute for Faith and Work. He teaches theology of work and New Testament courses for the Chattanooga Fellows Initiative.
Brian Fikkert is the founder and president of Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College, where he also serves as a professor of economics and community development. He is the coauthor of several books.

Baker Books, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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