Full Disclosure: Everything the Bible Says About Financial Giving, by Herb Miller

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Herb Miller, nationally known author of the “Consecration Sunday” annual stewardship program and syndicated columnist, now has gone back to the source, giving us a much-needed resource: Full Disclosure: Everything the Bible Says About Financial Giving (Discipleship Resources, 2003).

This book is not meant primarily for the academic student, but rather for someone who wants to know precisely where to dig into the Scripture for one’s own application. It’s an ideal book particularly for the pastor looking for a way to preach about financial giving in a proactive, year-round context.

Likewise, this volume is not about funding the local church. Rather, it addresses a Christian lifestyle and lifelong growth in stewardship by asking three basic questions:
1. Why should we give?
2. How does giving benefit us?
3. How should we give?
Miller’s response to these three questions gives us twenty positive themes, each with briefly-summarized Bible texts to spark your personal angle for preaching and teaching. And if that isn’t enough, an appendix on each chapter cites more passages you can pursue.
What makes this book a refreshing resource is Miller’s way of grouping the biblical events that reveal his perspective on the texts. His focus lies in attitudes and discipleship behaviors. “Generosity is rooted in habits of the heart, not in the bank balance,” he says. Even when speaking about Old Testament sacrifices, he writes of the importance of one’s heart commitment and relationship to God, and of the essential connection between financial giving and a lifestyle of justice and mercy.
So how might a preacher use this volume? He or she could use the twenty topics for a unique preaching series each spring (or at the non-campaign time of year) and each fall (before the campaign) for three years. For example (using Miller’s own titles):

Year 1 – Spring:
Financial Giving:
1. Puts God First
2. Acts as God’s Steward
3. Must Include Helping People in Need
4. Reflects Trust in God’s Providence

Year 1 – Fall:
How Should We Give?
1. Give Intentionally
2. Give One Tenth
3. Give Without Pride

Year 2 – Spring:
Financial Giving:
1. Worships God
2. Supports God’s Long-Range Goals
3. Must Include Right Living

Year 2 – Fall:
How Should We Give?
1. Give Proportionately
2. Give Generously
3. Give Without Selfish Motives

Year 3 – Spring:
Financial Giving:
1. Expresses Thankfulness to God
2. Motivates Others to Put God First
3. Brings Rewards

Year 3 – Fall:
How Should We Give?
1. Give Regularly
2. Give Sacrificially
3. Give Joyfully

Miller does not provide detailed content on the many Bible texts. But he offers us a hefty start in knowing where to look, and leaves us happily to explore the themes on our own.

 

Review by Betsy Schwarzentraub

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