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

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Jul 1, 2002 - Religion - 244 pages
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How should Christians live in a material world? Should personal guilt accompany financial success? Is 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 spiriĄtualized 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 assumpĄtions 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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Contents

The New Culture of Capitalism
13
The Cosmic Vision of Delight
41
Land of Liberation and Delight
65
Economic Life Is Eternal Life
90
The Incarnation and Economic Identity
116
The Radical Jesus as the Lord of Delight
139
Parables of Affluence
167
Narratives of Wealth in the Early Church
193
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About the author (2002)

Schneider is professor of religion and theology at Calvin College.

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