The Generous Soul: An Introduction to Missional Giving by Marty Duren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Christians are inundated with books and larger-than-life personalities all positioned as experts on God’s will regarding finances. Countering the health-and-wealth attitude are those who abhor any suggestion of financial well-being for a life of poverty, and the middle ground is dominated by financially passive churchgoers with little motivation toward radical giving. The Generous Soul takes a look at money and possessions from the position that the missionary mandate given to all believers extends to the financial blessings at hand, however meager they may be. Explaining that each child of God is a “missionary manager,” author Marty Duren provides a solid biblical foundation for a life of generosity based on the faithfulness of God.
As Marty outlines in the beginning of the book, little has been made of the idea of missional giving. He sets out to change that, developing a theology of giving that is inherently missional and biblical.
As you begin reading one thing you notice very clearly: it is an easy read. Filled with stories and humor, the book flows in such an easy to read manner that I finished the 152 page book in a little over 3 hours. That doesn’t mean it is light reading. Quite the opposite, it is filled with resounding theology with strong biblical foundation. For instance, you will be challenged to answer the question, “Can tithing be a sin?” as you pour over scripture that equates a lack of faith as being sin. In addition, you will be challenged to consider a theology of receiving that must first be understand before you can develop a theology of giving.
How we manage our money is a clear indication of our heart, describing it’s state of contentment or discontentment. It demonstrates our understanding of God, our faith in him, and our understanding our place in kingdom of God. Therefore we must wrestle with this issue, one that is the predominant reason for divorce in the US. Marty helps you wrestle with confidence that comes from heart in love with savior, Jesus Christ.
Additionally, Marty helps us understand the eschatological implications of being generous and having a biblical understanding of money – we can’t take it with us. Not only that, but he offers a clear understanding of the Gospel that helps us keep our heart and attention on God’s kingdom and his mission, meaning that no reader can read the book without understanding the person and work of Christ and our need for his grace and redemption.
Finally, Marty offers to the readers resources to use the book as part of a small group.
A holistic understanding of our money developed in an easy to read style make this a great book for learning how to be an effective trustee of what God has given us.
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