Thursday, December 25, 2003

The 33 Laws of Stewardship - by Dave Sutherland and Kirk Nowery

A half-decent book on biblical stewardship

Truthfully, I was a little disappointed in this book. It purports to be "33 Laws," but several of the laws are just different ways of saying the same thing. For instance, Law 26 is "The Law of Unconditional Contentment" and Law 28 is "The Law of Godly Contentment." Both of these "Laws" use Paul in prison to make the exact same point about how we should be content with our lives. In all, I think the "33 Laws" could be boiled down to about 10 or 12 without too much difficulty.

Initially, I was excited about the "Living the Laws" section at the end of each chapter. But it turns out that these are far from being the practical, life-changing action steps I was hoping for. One of these "practical" applications was called "don't forget the faith factor." Okay. I won't. I guess.

This book did have some solid biblical exposition and good jumping-off points for pastors to write good sermons on the topic. But the illustrations were tired and dated. Illustrations about stewardship at work in the lives of real people were all about men. And the newest illustration was about 70 years old.

Tithing was mentioned only once, and then only as something that some Christians might do. I realize that the authors were trying to make the book about "whole life stewardship," but (hello!) tithing is a biblical mandate! And when they did mention tithe, they didn't even explain what it meant.

It is obvious to me that this book was written for those already initiated, informed, and committed to stewardship. So my question becomes, why write the book? I will use this book in some sermon or devotional preparations, but I don't think I would recommend it to real people to read (maybe that's why I got my copy for free. hmmm).

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