I decided to read The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn, partially because of his Goodness of God book I read back in March. Of course my other reason for reading The Treasure Principle is due to the subject concerning money. I wanted to read his perspective on money, considering it is a subject which effects everyone. I liked some of what he presented, but I wasn’t pleased to read a certain idea in particular…
The Treasure Principle is a short book about money, joy, and giving; he is also a Christian Hedonist. The idea of promoting generous giving sounds good right? I mean he does condemn the whole Health and Wealth Gospel. I want to like what he says, because I don’t want to be focused negatively on my problems and he certainly does present some very good ideas like his six keys. However I have an issue with how he responds to someone who says “I can’t afford to give more financially.”
He says on page 66 and I quote: “When people tell me they can’t afford to tithe, I ask them ‘If your income was reduced by 10 percent would you die?’ They say ‘no.’ And I say, ‘ then you’ve admitted that you can afford to tithe. It’s just that you don’t want to…” I find that to be a very unfair statement. He is not talking to a Christian like me who has many bills to pay (sometimes paying them late), lives from paycheck to paycheck, and doesn’t make much money per year. He is talking to the Christian who is able to pay their bills on time always, who is mid-middle class or higher, and is doing pretty well financially where they have plenty of extra money leftover for savings and spending. In the latter group I understand those people should be giving because as he said we take some of what we have for granted, however for my group it’s unfair because it forces a person into a legalistic standard and scriptural conflict; after all we are not to be thieves and pay for our bills.
The Bible says “The Lord loves a cheerful giver” and the idea of trying to guilt trip someone into tithing is not good. Not to mention, Jesus Christ does not commend the old widow for what percentage she gave, but the fact she had the warmth to give as generously as she did in the first place, meaning she was giving more of her HEART. A person can give generously without it having anything to do with money. For an example I can give my time in serving the local church as well as giving a homeless person supplies to help them physically and spiritually (you know like some food, blankets, jacket, clean clothes, and a Bible, etc.) Again I liked some of what he had to say and we can’t be afraid to give to people, but how we should be giving shouldn’t be focused simply on the $$$. This subject of money, giving, and joy also should have been talked about for much longer than 95 pages.
Book Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Waterbrook Multnomah Press, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Waterbrook Multnomah Press to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus. This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”