By Randy Alcorn
Tyndale House Publishers
Reviewed by Benjamin C Maxson, Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries
As the title indicates, Alcorn presents a comprehensive study of the biblical principles that confront our materialistic world. This work provides a fresh look at biblical texts about money and possessions. It forces one to wrestle with the scriptural principles through ample use of everyday illustrations and careful study of the word of God. In his preface, Alcorn states, The key to a right use of money and possessions is a right perspective--an eternal perspective. Later he says Large segments of modern evangelicalism have succumbed to the heresy that this present life may be lived selfishly and disobediently without serious effects on the eternal state. Never have so many Christians believed the lie that our money and possessions are ours to do with as we please.
Alcorn develops the concept of a powerful relationship between a person’s true spiritual condition and his attitude and actions concerning money and possessions. His work is divided into four major sections: Part One explores the challenges of money and possessions. Part Two looks at money and possessions in the light of eternity. Part Three studies the biblical council and giving and sharing our money and possessions. And Part Four seeks to develop an overall philosophy toward handling our money and possessions.
While attacking the pervasive problem of materialism in our world and church today, the author avoids the trap of asceticism. Though you may not agree with everything he says, you will be confronted with the reality of the conflict between the philosophies of this world and Scripture’s attitude toward possessions. His chapter on the prosperity theology is especially helpful.
I found this book a personal challenge, and I consider it a reference volume to which I will return again and again.