God's Economy: Redefining the Health and Wealth Gospel

God's Economy: Redefining the Health and Wealth Gospel

by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove


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Are you dissatisfied with the gospel of health and wealth? Health and wealth proponents urge Christians to claim material blessings on earth. Others insist that God’s best gifts can’t be enjoyed until heaven. The truth of God’s intentions, writes acclaimed author Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, is far greater than either perspective suggests.Packed with inspiring stories, God’s Economy invites you to step into the good life God intends you to enjoy here and now—not a shrink-wrapped, plastic version of prosperity but a liberating approach to living that leads to genuine and lasting satisfaction.With persuasive enthusiasm, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove draws from Jesus’ teachings on money, exploring five tactics for living in God’s economy of abundance. Then, he demonstrates how people have practiced these tactics in the past, as well as what these principles can do for you, your family, and your church today. From your human relationships to your spiritual life, this practical guide cuts through the clutter and invites you to discover what can happen when you invest in God’s Economy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310293378
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is an associate minister at St. Johns Baptist Church. A graduate of Duke Divinity School, Jonathan is engaged in reconciliation efforts in Durham, North Carolina, directs the School for Conversion (newmonasticism.org), and is a sought-after speaker and author of several books. The Rutba House, where Jonathan lives with his wife, Leah, their son, Jai Michael, daughter, Nora Ann, and other friends, is a new monastic community that prays, eats, and lives together, welcoming neighbors and homeless. Find out more at jonathanwilsonhartgrove.com.

Table of Contents

Foreword Eugene Peterson 9

Author's Note 13

Chapter 1 Can we Have Our Pie and Eat It Too? 15

Chapter 2 Hungry for More 31

Chapter 3 Eating at God's Table 53

Chapter 4 subversive Service: How God's Economy Slips In 77

Chapter 5 Eternal Investments: How God's Children Plan Ahead 107

Chapter 6 Economic Friendship: How RealSecurityHappens 135

Chapter 7 Relational Generosity: How We share Goode News 161

Chapter 8 Gracious Politics: How to Under Occupation 185

Epilogue: An abundance of Broken Pieces 209

Acknowledgments 215

Notes 219

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Most of the compelling books I know of in current Christian literature are compelling because they dare to deal simply and directly with radical concepts that have become immobilized by shrewdly nuanced ideas and rampant cultural theology. Wilson-Hartgrove has mastered the art of that kind of truth-telling, and there can be no doubt but that God’s Economy is a compelling book.” — Phyllis Tickle

“This book is full of piercing questions that every serious follower of Jesus must ask. And its answers reflect a breathtaking vision and radical call to action.” — Ron Sider

“Through an examination of money-changing activities ranging from panhandlers to war, God’s Economy challenges the reader to confront Christ’s principle ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ A must-read for individuals and groups looking to invest time wisely.” — Matthew Sleeth

“This is how the Gospel must hit the ground—running! God’s Economy is very brilliant, very timely, and very readable at the same time. This is practical theology and spirituality at its best!” — [Fr.] Richard Rohr

“This is not the book to read unless you’re looking to change your life—in subtle ways and maybe great ones.” — Bill Mc Kibben

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God's Economy: Redefining the Health and Wealth Gospel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
dkam136 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book God¿s Economy: Redefining the Health and Wealth Gospel by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove provides an interesting look at a controversial subject: How should Christians understand money?The first four chapters prepare us through a combination of autobiography on the part of the author, examination of biblical texts, and theological discussion on the issues of poverty, money, and power. The latter four chapters explain four ¿tactics¿ Jonathon suggests Christians use in the world to help us create a new understanding of abundance.Towards the beginning of the book Jonathon challenges many fundamental aspects of the ¿American dream.¿ In speak of Joseph, for example, he says that his life was one ¿marked less by teh abundance of possessions than by abundant relationships.¿ He takes the rest of the book to discuss how Christians might re-order their thinking around relationships instead of possessions. He says elsewhere that ¿what concerns Jesus about money isn¿t so much how we should use it¿as how it affects our relationships with God.¿He also spends the first four chapters attempting to get rid of the popular ideas that problems in the world are either: (1) The fault of the rich having too much, or (2) The poor being lazy. He explores a kind of ¿third way¿ where the lines aren¿t so finely drawn, and where relationships are central. His main example for this kind of life is St. Francis of Assisi who valued the relationships in his life over his wealth and possessions (indeed even ripping his own clothes off his back to return them to his father). Money has away of ¿quietly colonizing¿ us in ways we least expect. He notes, as many authors have noted as of late, how the `protestant ethic¿ has separated ¿spiritual¿ and `material¿ realities into separate spheres (to the point of excluding God in the `material¿ reality).Another preparation Jonathon makes before delving into his four tactics is understanding the importance of first century economies and the importance of the feast-table. The biggest problem that modern readers of the biblical text have is understanding first century economies. We have to understand that the household was also the primary means by which commercial ventures took place. There was no separation between the two in this time period, and thus to understand Jesus¿ teaching about family, we must understand that family household economics was all their was. There was not other way of doing things. The point of such household economies was to create as big and powerful a household as possible with as many servants as possible.From here, Jonathon goes into his first tactic: subversive service. We are called, not to be the great fathers of great households, but to be like children. To read the text as Jesus speaking of childlike faith is incoherent to a first century economy. Rather, the authors seem to be calling us to be `nothing¿ ¿ or, at least, nothing as a child was considered nothing in a household economy structure. We are to BE the least and the last.The second tactic is what Jonathan calls ¿eternal investments.¿ When I first read the title of this chapter I was a little unsure of what to think. I don¿t like the idea of someday you¿ll be rewarded in heaven for all the good things you do on earth. Luckily, that¿s not at all what he was referencing with this second tactic. Rather, he was talking about investing in things that don¿t fade away (i.e. people rather than possessions). He talks about the difference between investing eternally and investing effectively. If our investments are to be ¿effective,¿ Jesus would have sided with Judas in criticizing Mary when she anointed his feet with oil.The third tactic Jonathan refers to as ¿eternal friendships.¿ For the example here Jonathan speaks of the shrewd manager who made friends in order to save his job. I enjoyed Jonathan¿s interpretation of the shrewd manager, and I think he makes some good points that I had never really heard in church before regarding the