Book Reviewed by Patrick Blair on September 15, 2020
First Impression Versus Lasting Impression: The book is exactly what it appears to be: a book about spiritual riches versus earthly riches and Christian giving.
The Book in a Word: Challenging
Summary: John Cortines and Gregory Baumer have uncompromisingly made the case for radical Christian giving. The book addresses how giving affects our hearts, but also gives many related personal finance and structured giving practicals.
What I liked the most: was the book’s focus on our mindset and hearts. Rather than dogmatically commanding generosity, the authors appeal to our logic and desire for a better and freer heart. Also, the book is well-written and easy to read.
What I liked the least: was the perspective of the authors, who are Harvard business school graduates with solid financial backgrounds and stellar career prospects. Although they are fantastic personal examples of generous Christian giving, their message can sometimes lack the inspiration that most people need to multiply what God has given them. In fairness, the book appears to be narrowly tailored for a wealthier audience and is probably more effective at reaching them than if it were written to a wider audience.
Recommended for: wealthy (top 10%) Christians looking for inspiration to give more generously and benefit their hearts.
Not Recommended for: the typical Christian looking for inspiration to give more generously. There are many other books that fill that need (e.g. The Treasure Principle).
Faith-finances.com Website Categories Covered: Biblical Concepts, Charitable Giving, Personal Finance, Book Reviews
Reading Level: Basic … Intermediate … Advanced … Scholarly.
Interesting Concepts: The book contains many interesting and helpful concepts, but what stands out are the main chapter headings: The Big Question (“How are my finances shaping my heart?”) (p. 7); From Pride to Gratitude; From Coveting to Contentment; From Anxiety to Trust; From Indifference to Love. Interesting Practical: setting up a bank account for “spontaneous giving,” but funding it in advance so you are ready to give. (p. 53).
Great Quotes: “God was teaching me that my personal worth as a human being did not come from my financial net worth.” (p. 88). “Reflecting on the fragility of our successes – how contingent they are – frees us to let go of pride and say thank you to God who made them possible.” (p. 14). “The high cost of following Jesus is acceptable only if we believe in the reward.” (p. 50). “We shouldn’t give to things because we care about them deeply. Rather, we should give to things because God cares about them deeply. Giving often starts as an obedient step of faith before it blossoms into joyful love over time.” (p. 96).
Spiritual Content: A lot!
Book Citation: Cortines, John, and Gregory Baumer. True Riches: What Jesus Really Said about Money and Your Heart. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2020.
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Contents of this material have been republished with permission from Faith and Finances Ministry.