Monday, January 08, 2007

Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions

Dr. Blomberg concludes in his book with these principles:

  1. Material possessions are a good gift from God meant for his people to enjoy.
  2. Material possessions are simultaneously one of primary means of turning human hearts away from God.
  3. A necessary sign of a life in the process of being redeemed is that of transformation in the area of stewardship.
  4. There are certain extremes of wealth and poverty which are in and of themselves intolerable.
  5. Above all, the Bible’s teaching about the material possession is inextricably intertwined with more ‘spiritual’ matters [1]

And then draws these applications:

  1. If wealth is an inherent good, Christians should try to gain it.
  2. If wealth is seductive, giving away some of our surplus is a good strategy for resisting the temptation to overvalue it.
  3. If stewardship is a sign of a redeemed life, then Christians will, by their new natures, want to give.
  4. If certain extremes of wealth and poverty are inherently intolerable, those of us with excess income (i.e. most readers of this book!) will work hard to help at least a few of the desperately needy in our world.
  5. If holistic salvation represents the ultimate good God wants all to receive, then our charitable giving should be directed to individuals, churches or organizations who minister holistically, carrying for people’s bodies as well as their souls, addressing their physical as well as their spiritual circumstances. [1]

For the exegetical support for these principles and applications check out the rest of Dr. Blomberg’s book, “Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical theology of possessions”.

[1] Pg. 243- 247

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