Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tithing by Douglas Leblanc

        The question of tithing as a valid practice in the Christian church today is a hotly debated subject among many. But the book Tithing:Test Me in This by Douglas Leblanc never attempts to tackle the issue of the validity of the practice in our century. Instead, Mr. Leblanc invites the reader to meet 12 different families who have practiced this discipline and to learn how it has affected each of their lives. The book is one of eight volunmes found in the Ancient Practices series that explore eight different disciplines of faith.
         I was not particularly looking for another theology lesson on tithing when I approached this book and I was not disappointed. Instead, what I discovered was an intriguing look into the lives of each family the author interviewed, individuals who consider tithing both scriptural and necessary for their personal lives. Their stories consistently abound with the lessons they learned, such as putting God first, trusting Him when it looked as if they would not survive by giving and doing more than they ever thought they could. It challenged me to reexamine the Biblical principle of tithing that I have believed and practiced for over 20 years, and in doing so made me recognize it again not as a mere ritual, but as a response to a love relationship with a God who loves the world and wants to change people's lives, including the way they approach their finances.
         The author purposely does not espouse one group of beliefs as the standard of the tithing practice. But what he does is talk about the rich and the poor, Christian writers and Jewish Rabbis, the young and the old, Episcopalians, Adventists, Church of God Pastors and others. The range of tithers is so wide that it leaves no room for criticism that the author may have been trying to focus on one specific people group. Doug Leblanc has done an excellent job by including those from all walks of life.
          This book was given to me complimentary as a part of the book review program for bloggers at www.booksneeze.com. I am thankful that I made it my choice and would recommend it to those who are not looking for more theological arguments, but would like to hear the personal experiences and results of those who practice what has already been preached many times before.