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REVIEW: Stealing from God? Authors dare Christians to give more


Kyle Butt and John Farber. The Truth About Giving: God’s Dare to Give Scripturally. Nashville, Tenn.: Gospel Advocate Co., 2012. 93 pages. $8.99.

If  Christians aren’t returning to the Lord at least 10 percent of their income, they literally are stealing from God, say authors Kyle Butt and John Farber in “The Truth About Giving: God’s Dare to Give Scripturally.”

“There is no record in the Bible where God ever accepted less than 10 percent from any of His followers,” the authors write early on in a brief book that is backed by Scripture references throughout.

Butt, a deacon of the Stony Point Church of Christ in Florence, Ala., works in the Bible department of Apologetics Press, a church-supported nonprofit dedicated to the defense of New Testament Christianity. Farber is coordinator of Latin American Missions, overseen by the Forrest Park Church of Christ in Valdosta, Ga. Farber attends the Church of Christ in Orange Park, Fla.

Withthe premise set early, Butt and Farber lead readers through chapters thatestablish whose money it is in the first place, why God demands 10 percent, theconcept of cheerful giving, God’s “dare” and ultimately why giving at least 10percent of our income is good for us as Christians.

Thereare study questions at the end of each chapter, making this book appropriatefor small group study and a chapter of frequently asked questions at the end,answering such queries as “Can a member give through his business to takeadvantage of tax breaks?” (Short answer: yes) or “If a member wants to supporta cause that is not in the budget of his or her church, is it okay to use aportion of his regular contribution to support the work?” (Answer: It’s wiserto give 10 percent to each.)

Thisbook will likely inspire Christians to dig deeper and give more, or, if notgive more in dollars, to search their hearts to decide where they are storingtheir treasure.

Just as the Bible says a person’streasure can be stored in one of two places — in heaven or on earth — there islittle wiggle room in the eyes of these authors. “A Christian who claims tolove God but does not give scripturally and liberally does not really loveGod,” they write.

Ican recommend this to Christians who want to explore the scriptural basis fortithing and who are ready to face an uncomfortable challenge — a dare.

JIM STAFFORD is a communication specialist for i2E, Inc., and a member of the Quail Springs Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

Filed under: Reviews Staff Reports

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