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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Book Review: Receiving Financial Blessing: How to Walk in Truth, Righteousness and Honesty with Money

Publisher: Certa Publishing, 2015
Non-fiction: Personal Finance, Christian Living

First Lines:
If you’re not giving Christ what is necessary, essential, or needful (in other words, as the complete Jewish Bible version puts it, what Jesus “has to have,” and those words are only used together once in the entire version), you may be at risk of hearing these words: “Depart from me, I knew you not.” I pray that you do truly love Jesus, but have not been told the whole truth, what I call: “the shocking truth.” I say shocking because the truth has been in the New Testament for over 2000 years. And guess what? There are over seventy biblical blessings on money that can follow when we are obedient to the Word of God.
Goodreads Description:

There are over 70 blessings that could result after giving God your tithes. When Christians are not giving Jesus what is “necessary,” it keeps them from receiving the blessings He intends for His followers to have. "Receiving Financial Blessing: How to Walk in Truth, Righteousness and Honesty With Money" is the most comprehensive book on biblical financial blessings. All Christians, especially church leaders, need to know the truth about tithing and how it still applies to them today.

Stephen Kirkendall has helped Christians with their financial investments for many years. But Kirkendall realized early on that most Christians were not being financially blessed. So he decided to dig deeper to find out the truth on biblical blessings of money. The result is this biblically-driven study, which is a must-have for every believer.

My Review:

I was looking forward to increasing my knowledge on what the Bible has to say about money through the reading of this book. Unfortunately, I found the book a disappointment.

First of all, the title is misleading. The book is not about receiving financial blessings. Of the 70 rewards indicated by the author, only 1/7 are possibly monetary; the others are things like pleasing God, receiving salvation, having your faith perfected (i.e. rewards of following God). Not that these aren’t important or valuable—they are—but they’re not what’s implied by the author at the outset. Neither did the subtitle play out.

Kirkendall starts off with the topic of tithing and encourages believers to give of money and/or time. This was no doubt the strongest section of the book and those who have little money to give can breathe a sigh of relief when they learn that “time is money,” too.

But while Kirkendall may be an excellent financial consultant (check out his website for potentially helpful information), his book flounders. 

Here are my issues: 

  • Errors of fact—a few examples:
  1. On page 38, he suggests that the Herod who attempted to kill the infant/toddler Jesus later helps to provide for Jesus’ needs. No, no, no! These are different Herods (see Matthew 2:19)!
  2. On page 40, he guesses that Zacchaeus “never knowingly cheated anyone out of anything,” assuming that Z’s comment “if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation,” represents his ignorance of having done so. “If,” however, can also mean “since,” and this casts quite a different light on Z’s statement in Luke 19. Tax collectors were known thieves in Jesus’ day (Luke 3:12-13) and Z was likely no different from the majority of his peers in the profession.
  3. On page 50, Kirkendall says that “knowledge... casts out all fear.” My understanding has always been that it’s love that does that (1 John 4:18).
  • The volume of scripture verses with little discussion around their contents
  •  The author’s conversational tone seems inappropriate to the subject matter
  • The inclusion of a small chapter on 666. While having the number will affect one’s ability to buy and sell during tribulation times, this section doesn’t feel like it belongs here.
  •  The book, overblown at 81 pages in length, might best have been published as a series of blog posts on the author’s website.
Please save your $20 and be financially blessed.

My Rating: 1 star. I did not love this book.

I received this book free through the BookCrash program in exchange for my honest review.

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