Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Tithing After the Cross

Over a year ago I was contacted by and old professor of mine, Dr. David Alan Black, and he requested that I write a book for the new publishing company he was editing for, Energion Publications. Specifically, he wanted me to write  in the Areopagus Critical Christian Issues series on the topic of tithing. As some of you are aware, I have published two scholarly articles on tithing (co-written with Dr. Andreas Kostenberger: part 1 and part 2), a lengthy monograph called You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe?, and a four views book called Perspectives on Tithing. So, why did I agree to write another book on this topic?

First, the monograph is very long, somewhat technical, though very documented. While there are over 1800 footnotes to support the research in You Mean I Don't Have to Tithe?, some people have found the prose too technical, the length too overwhelming, and the price too high (it's about $37 on amazon.com). It contains most of my thoughts on the subject, but it can be a little overwhelming.

Second, the chapter I wrote in Perspectives on Tithing is very limited. To go from over 300 pages to about 30 was a difficult task. I had to edit out so many thoughts that it made the argument less than convincing for some.

Third, while the monograph has almost all the content of this new book, Tithing After the Cross, the structure of this new book makes it an easy resource. See, the monograph is an inductive study on the issue, beginning with church history, then going through both the Old and New Testaments, and then theological systems. The new book is structured around the specific arguments for the continuation of tithing. So there are five categories of arguments: 1) Old Testament Arguments, 2) New Testament Arguments, 3) Theological Arguments, 4) Historical Arguments, and 5) Experiential Arguments. The arguments for tithing are discussed in order from weakest to strongest in each chapter. The book ends with a summary of principles for giving in the New Covenant. So, if there is a particular argument for tithing that you want to research and/or understand, you can easily access it in this book.

Fourth, this book was not written in scholar-ese. I attempted to make it understandable to lay people, not just pastors and scholars. It's under 100 pages in total length.

Fifth, this book is the most affordable. Right now amazon has the paperback on sale for $8.99 and the Kindle version for only $2.99. Now people won't have to take money away from their tithe in order to afford the book ... I'm just joking! :)

I'll end with some of the endorsements it has received:

Craig L. Blomberg, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of New Testament
Denver Seminary, Denver, CO
"David Croteau has already published a detailed study of all the significant biblical, theological and historical evidence for and against tithing as a mandatory practice for Christians. Here he distills the highlights of that research in brief, accessible form, responding to the most common arguments for tithing. Croteau convincingly demonstrates that believers after Jesus’ death and resurrection are not required to give ten percent. Instead they are exhorted to generosity and sacrifice, which for a few Westerners may be less than ten percent but for many of us means much more. Here is essential reading for the Christian who wants to be
biblically obedient!"

Andy Naselli, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology
Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis, MN
"This book is thoughtful, clear, pastoral, convincing, and convicting. It does not lead to a position that Christians should give less than ten percent. Rather, (a) if the foundation of giving is our relationship with God and the grace and love he gives us and (b) if the amount we give is based on our income, what we determine
in our heart, the needs of those ministering to us and of fellow Christians, and generosity, then why give only ten percent?"

Michael A. Grisanti, Ph.D.
Professor of Old Testament
The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, CA
"David Croteau has provided the Church a concise and helpful argument for a biblical approach to giving for modern times. By contending that God does not require tithing for believers today, Croteau does not seek to minimize the giving of God’s people. Rather, he wants people to give in accordance to the pattern provided
by the Scriptures: generously, cheerfully, and sacrificially. May God’s people understand that we should not limit our giving to 10% of our resources, but to give in light of God’s abundant mercy and grace toward us."

George Athas, Ph.D.
Dean of Research and Senior Lecturer in Old Testament Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia
"With sharp simplicity, David Croteau exposes a range of assumptions that many Christians employ in their thinking about tithing. He demonstrates how these assumptions can appear to be biblically based, and yet surprisingly be flawed. Croteau then uses sound biblical principles to shape a wise and godly attitude towards financial giving for the Christian. His concern for biblical faithfulness and God’s grace is evident throughout, and his explanations are enlightening and encouraging. Croteau is to be commended for serving the Christian community with these valuable (pun intended!) insights on what can be a controversial or even burdensome topic for believers."

Robert L. Plummer, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament Interpretation
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
"There are many soundbites on tithing, but few exegetical studies - even fewer that are understandable to the average layperson, well-written, and concerned about the practical generosity of God’s people. Well, there may only be one book that fits that description, and you’re holding it in your hands."

Russell S. Woodbridge, Ph.D.
co-author of Health, Wealth & Happiness: Has the Prosperity
Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ
"If you want a concise overview of a better way to give generously to the Lord, then this book is for you. Dr. Croteau has provided a resource for the church to examine biblical principles for giving today. He fairly responds to the arguments for tithing today, and winsomely presents his view of grace-driven giving. Whether or not you believe tithing is still applicable today, this book will help you sort through the issue, and become a more generous giver."

1 comment:

Allen Waldrep said...

Just ordered, looking forward to the read. Glad it was even available as Amazon Prime!