Recently, I signed up to review books at Book Sneeze. The first book they sent me was Tithing, by Douglas Leblanc.
The book is not really a scriptural or doctrinal defense of tithing, it simply goes through the story of eleven people who make tithing an important part of their lives.
Tithing began is a suspicious way, referring to very little scripture, but I found as I read each story, that the book was probably only meant to show what tithing had done in these people’s lives. There were many different views presented as each of the eleven stories shared a little different slant on the ancient practice of tithing.
Overall, the book was maybe an above average read, but in almost every story, there was a pearl to pluck out. Encouragements such as,
I think that as Christians, we are called to be downwardly mobile.
And a quote he shared by Dr. Charles Burke (1975);
The rich much live simply that the poor may simply live.
The most important thing I think I learned was when the New Testament was finally brought up.
If you actually capture the spirit of 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 and it becomes a reality in your life, you can forget about tithing.
Tithing is not a biblical command, but as Ron Sider, one of his interviewees, said;
It’s an Old Testament principle that makes enormous sense, and it’s a great starting point.
One side note that, if you read the book, you will see that these people’s tithes went many different places. Some went to churches, but for the most part, these people gave so that the poor could be fed, and people could be helped. I think that is a misconception we sometimes get, that the tithe is to the church, then if you want to feed the poor, you need to find other money.
I was neat to hear from a Jewish rabbi what the tithe actually was in the old law. That was probably the best chapter in the book. Tithing was an obligation, but in reality, tithing wasn’t the obligation, feeding the poor was, and I think still is.
I learned a lot from this book, and will be making some changes because of it. I’d say it was worth the read.
(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)