Book Review: Managing God’s Money by Randy Alcorn

by Joe Plemon on July 15, 2011

Managing God’s Money, Randy Alcorn’s most recent book, is a life changer.

I say this because the book has been a catalyst in initiating conversations with my wife that we never would have had otherwise. We already knew that everything belongs to God. We already understood the principles of being property managers for God. We were even tithers, and we felt good about it. But things are now different; instead of smugly believing that God is surely proud of us for how we manage his money, we are now investigating ways to go beyond a tithe, to dedicate all of our assets to His glory and to intentionally invite some trepidation into our financial lives by giving away much of the nest egg we have accumulated.

I believe the power of this book is Randy’s ability to move us from doctrine to practice. It is one thing to give mental assent to a truth, but a wholly different thing to openly seek just how it should be applied to one’s life. Money issues, being money issues, are much easier for most of us to assign to our subconscious, but Managing God’s Money forces confrontation, moving these issues from the head to the heart. As one would expect, Alcorn leads with scripture, using it extensively to give the reader God’s take on His money.

What do I like best about the book? Tough question. I read it with a yellow highlighter at my side, and was amazed that I didn’t run it dry. But let me share just a few portions that were life changing for me:

Am I the rich fool from Luke 12: 16-22?

It is easy to read this parable and discuss how this rich fool had his priorities scrambled, all the while being glad that we are not rich like him. However, as Alcorn points out, all Americans, by world standards, are indeed rich. He contrasts this man with the poor widow who gave her last two coins to the Lord, then throws us this zinger:

Let’s be honest – if asked, wouldn’t many of us congratulate the rich fool for his entrepreneurial enterprise and warn the poor woman to hold on to what little money she had?” See what I mean?

Heaven and finances

Many of us are foggy minded about storing treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20) because we are foggy minded about heaven. The section “Our Stewardship in Eternity’s Light” opened my eyes to the realities of heaven and therefore motivated me to store more treasures in my eternal home. Another life changer.

Tithing

True confession: I have read so much about tithing that I had little expectation of learning anything new on the topic. Was I ever wrong! My problem is that I had read what others thought about tithing without actually reading what the Bible has to say. Alcorn explains the Old Testament teachings and clearly rebuts two camps of Christian thought: that the tithe is the pinnacle of giving and that tithing should not be practiced under the New Covenant. As a result, my wife and I have already decided to 1) immediately increase our giving and 2) formulate a plan to make graduated increases in the future. Yet another life changer – one that we are both excited about.

Future reference

This is a book that I will be using over and over again, both for my own personal references and also as a springboard for future blog posts. I loved the way Managing God’s Money is organized, and even though it does not include an index, the Table of Contents is so well structured that I will be able to easily find whatever topic I am seeking.

I rate Managing God’s Money as a 5 on a scale of 5. But I offer one warning: it will destroy those stained glass beliefs that you hold so dear.

Like I said, it is a life changer.

Eternal Perspective Ministries provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. Managing God’s Money is available from your local Christian bookstore and from online retailers, as well as from Eternal Perspective Ministries (www.epm.org), a nonprofit ministry founded by author Randy Alcorn.

 


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol@inthetrenches July 16, 2011 at 11:17 am

Thanks for introducing us to the book Joe. Sounds like one to read. I have been re-reading the gospels and agree that the average Christian (including myself) is only acting upon the tip of the iceberg level to what Christ actually taught.

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joeplemon July 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Carol. It is pretty amazing to discover what Christ actually said instead of what one assumes he said. Managing God’s Money blasts through those preconceived ideas. To add to this time of discovery (and challenge), our Sunday School class is studying David Platt’s eye-opening book “Radical”. God must have some plans for me!

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Eliot September 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I agree with your review. I read the book and was greatly challenged by it. Thanks for the review!

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