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Review: Dave Ramsey’s latest digs deeper into Scripture

Dave Ramsey is no stranger to personal finance. 

He is best known for his book “The Total Money Makeover ” and the nationally syndicated radio and TV shows bearing his name. He’s helped millions of people through his “Financial Peace University .”
Readers who aren’t in immediate need of his “get-out-and-stay-out-of-debt” message may find his latest book, “The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity ,” more relevant to their lives. 
While he discusses debt (and it’s clear that his opinions on it haven’t changed in the slightest), this time Ramsey has his sights set on helping the reader live and leave a legacy.
In Print | Eric Johansen
While Ramsey always has presented his material based on biblical principles, “The Legacy Journey ” makes much greater use of Scripture than his previous works.
Readers familiar with Ramsey’s oftentimes brutal directness may find his approach in “The Legacy Journey ” to be gentler — though no less to the point. “Wealth demands maturity,” he writes. “Don’t let wealth lead to laziness in your walk with God and indifference in your relationships with others.”
This statement reveals the focus of this book — stewardship. To Ramsey, that means management. He asks readers to consider how they manage the resources — including, but not limited to, finances — that God has entrusted to them.
Ramsey assumes the reader knows how to make a budget and pay bills, though he does include a cursory overview of his “Baby Steps” to get out of debt and build wealth. 
This book addresses why we should be doing these things — and ponders the question of what we should do with the wealth that comes as a result of following biblical principles.
Ramsey outlines four “stages” of money. The first, “Now,” focuses on paying bills and keeping everyone fed. “Then” follows, as we begin thinking about the future, planning for retirement. 
The “Us” stage focuses on leaving an inheritance and taking care of future generations. After that comes the “Them” stage, which focuses on leaving a legacy outside of our immediate family.
Ramsey outlines “the war on success” — those who claim that being wealthy is evil. This belief is contrary to God’s design, Ramsey responds. He addresses some of the prevalent, toxic beliefs and misunderstandings in our culture about money and tries to refocus our thoughts on what God has laid out in the Bible. 
Ramsey wraps up “The Legacy Journey ” by covering generosity. It’s not something to be done only at the final “Them” stage, he writes, but throughout out lives. He reminds us of Joshua, calling the reader to “choose today what kind of a legacy you want to leave.”  
The book includes a couple of bonus chapters. One details the specifics of investing. Another is about turning a career into a calling, for those whose have their interest piqued by the chapter on work.
New and veteran readers of Dave Ramsey will appreciate his candor. Rather than present his opinions as fact, he carefully points out when it’s his interpretation or view of Scripture. With that said, I did not find anything contrary to the belief or doctrine of Churches of Christ.
Ramsey’s writing style is comfortable and easy to read. Readers will sometimes get the impression that he’s sitting in the same room, just having a conversation with them.
Readers looking for a small-group experience should investigate his class by the same name. Otherwise, individual readers will find that “The Legacy Journey ” is an excellent primer to handling wealth biblically. 
Experts in estate planning may disagree with the specifics of some of his suggestions, but the basics are solid. 
Eric Johansen and his wife Denise attend the Northeast Church of Christ in Cincinnati, where they are both actively involved in community outreach and financial ministry.

Filed under: Features Reviews

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