Kindness and generosity matter. The question that begs a response is whether or not kindness, for instance, is an inherent trait that some possess and others do not. Or, is it a muscle that needs exercise? Read More
How do you respond to generosity? What about when someone demonstrates generous trust in you? The Gospel text for Sunday seems to create an interesting tension between generosity and fear. And, there should be tension.
Rather than read the parable to mine the identity of the master and the slaves, what if we considered the words of servant number 3 and how the master turns those words back onto the servant revealing what we might refer to as “suspended belief.” Only, in this occasion what servant number 3 believes does not prompt a consistent response.
What would it mean for the parable to provoke in us the question of how we respond to the generosity of God in Jesus? What would it mean for the church were Jesus people to live out of their conviction that God is generous rather than somehow become fearful such generosity might be abused. It seems to be in this parable.
What are your thoughts?
Christians may not have a corner on the market when it comes to generosity. In fact, American Christians seem always in search of a form of their faith that makes them less generous rather than more so. Enter Marty Duren and his new book, The Generous Soul. One part Introduction to a theology of missional giving and one part critique of the captivity of the American Church to consumerism, Duren provides a thoughtful corrective for a lack of both.
After reading an early copy of Marty’s book, I offered the following “blurb” for his use, should he find it helpful. In part it reads,
Stewardship has fallen on hard times. In his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, Ron Sider suggests that if Christians would tithe we could address the lack of clean water, preventable disease, and hunger around the world. There would still be quite a reserve for “evangelistic” programs. Competing with the wider consumerist culture, Pastors struggle to find helpful material on giving. Denominational material is often over-simplified and reductionistic. Financial programs are more “how-to” than “what-for.” In The Generous Soul, Marty Duren offers a theology of missional giving – that is, giving located squarely in the context of God and His Kingdom.
We will use The Generous Soul at Snow Hill. Rather than feel as though brow-beaten by a pastor, we will find in Duren’s insight and challenge a guide to expressing the generosity of God in ways that point to the present realities of the Kingdom of God.
You may pre-order your your copy from Amazon or for large quantities for use in your local missional community contact Missional Press directly.