The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth

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Overview

wealth incompatible with true Christianity? In The Good of Affluence John R. Schneider reopens the debate over the proper Christian attitude toward money, arguing, ultimately, that Scripture does indeed provide support for the responsible possession of wealth. This is a provocative book of Christian theology, written to help people seeking God in a culture that has grown from modern capitalism. By comparing classic Christian teaching on wealth with the realities of our modern economic world, Schneider challenges the common presumption that material affluence is inherently bad. Careful interpretation of Scripture narratives -- creation, exodus, exile, and more -- also shows that abundance is the condition that God envisions for all human beings and that faithful persons of wealth are part of this plan.
Schneider believes that the "wealth-as-blessing" themes of the Old Testament are not to be spiritualized and do not run contrary to New Testament teachings but provide exactly the frame of reference for the incarnate identity, life, and teaching of Jesus, who came to make real the messianic feast, both in this age and in the age to come. Through insightful engagement with the biblical text Schneider overturns some of the most cherished and unquestioned assumptions of influential Christian writers (particularly Ronald Sider) on modern capitalist affluence. Yet Schneider's message is also finely balanced with the need for responsible Christian living. He offers rich Christians biblical affirmation but also challenges them to a life shaped by an uncommon sense of stewardship and compassion. Incisive, thought provoking, and biblically grounded, The Good of Affluence is a superb resource for anyone -- students, professors, businesspeople, general readers, discussion groups -- wishing to grapple seriously with the subject of faith and wealth.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This substantially revised edition of Schneider's earlier book Godly Materialism: Rethinking Money and Possessions is more scholarly and theological than the earlier title, but it retains the same thesis: there is a biblical precedent for the responsible ownership of wealth. He cautions, however, that "human history has never before known circumstances in which entire societies were affluent" and not just individuals, so such biblical support needs to be tempered with careful reflection about how Christians can seek God in a full-blown capitalist society. Schneider is unabashed in his admiration for capitalism, which he regards as uniquely suited to ensure that all of God's people enjoy prosperity. However, even readers who disagree with him on this point can learn much from his overall position, which lies between the "prosperity theologians," who believe that God blesses the faithful with material wealth, and the "radical Christians" (e.g., Tony Campolo and Ron Sider), who view individual wealth as almost entirely negative. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802833631
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth 1
1. The "New" Culture of Capitalism 13
2. Genesis: The Cosmic Vision of Delight 41
3. The Exodus: Land of Liberation and Delight 65
4. The Prophets and Wisdom: Economic Life Is Eternal Life 90
5. The Incarnation and Economic Identity 116
6. The Radical Jesus as the Lord of Delight 139
7. Parables of Affluence 167
8. Narratives of Wealth in the Early Church 193
Epilogue: Being Affluent in a World of Poverty 211
Bibliography 221
Index of Names 228
Index of Scripture References 231
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2003

    A provocative discussion on affluence

    This book presents a novel and insightful polemical discourse on affluence in the Christian culture. It discusses issues that might not be so commonly broached on Sunday mornings at the pulpit. You don't have to agree with everything, but it challenges you think of why you don't. Ultimately this book is good if you've been entrenched in the world of guilt for your hedonism in our Western culture of capitalism. It's also good if you have the desire to read a very academic approach to the subject, but otherwise, it's not for the average reader wanting light reading material before bed.

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