Thursday, April 30, 2009

Is having 'too much' wrong?

I've just listened to a talk from The Gospel Coalition. It's titled the The Gospel & Money by Tom Nelson and Matt Perman. It's OK. 'C' grade at best. They both talk really fast and say a lot without saying much. I was a bit disappointed. The best thing Tom Nelson said was that church leaders should model generosity. Other than that it still amazes it me that we need to point out to people that the Bible talks about money and generosity, why is this still surprising? Anyway his point was if you preach through the Bible you'll talk about money quite often and then it won't be relegated to gift days. Fair enough.

Matt Perman was the second half of the audio and he blogs here. I'm not sure quite what made me uneasy but it really did. A few things bugged me. His justification for having 4 laptops was in case he went away on a trip and left one at home, was just lame for someone who blogs on efficiency. Just don't forget your laptop Matt, it's not difficult.

At one point he said having 'too much' wasn't wrong and we shouldn't feel guilty about it. I'm not so sure about that because the point of 'too much' is that it's 'too much'. If I eat too much it's gluttony. If I sleep too much its laziness. If I work too much its unhealthy. If I want too much its greedy. The whole point Matt is that it's too much. It's too much for us, it's not good for us because it's too much. If God has given us an abundance then that means we have enough, we can enjoy our enough, we can enjoy our plenty AND we get to give.

It was OK when he talked about money and possessions being a relative good but when we make it an absolute it fails us. By that he means when we make something more important than the kingdom of God.

Even so I was left with the distinct impression that he gave comfort to the rich and comfortable, that he began by justifying wealth and then in talking about the texts that challenge our wealth was just a bit average, saying nothing new and let the listener off the hook in the way he accused others of doing.

I've listened to Tim Keller on money and it's been excellent, so I had high hopes for TGC on this subject and this seminar but it was a disappointment.


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