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is wealth God’s blessing to the righteous?

Is it true that God blesses the righteous with financial wealth? Does he want to bless you with such wealth?

I’ve been a Christian for little over a decade and I’ve heard such a perspective propagated dozens of times in a wide variety of denominational backgrounds – God wants his people to be rich, and financial and material wealth is a form of his blessing.

This view is normally derived from the Old Testament, particularly from the stories of Abraham and his family. It is true, God does indeed bless Abraham and his sons with wealth:

And the LORD has blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he has given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. (Genesis 24:35)

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. (Genesis 26:12–13)

There is no getting around the fact that wealth is here viewed as God’s blessing by the author. However there is no definitive reason to view these reports as constituting a prescription for us. Read the rest of this entry

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an interpretation of the shrewd manager in luke 16

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1-13) is, in the words of Leon Morris, “… one of the most difficult of all the parables to interpret.”*

Most people with whom I have discussed this parable have little to no idea as to what it might mean. Indeed the idea that a dishonest person is commended is troubling at the very least.

The most common solution I have heard is that Jesus is saying we should be wise with our resources and opportunities just like the shrewd manager, to the point of using them dishonestly if necessary in order to get a good outcome.

Is this a fair interpretation?

I don’t think so.

Read the rest of this entry

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