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Nov 26, 2007

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Dana Ames

Leonard Sweet said in an article that if you add up all the "offerings" in the OT that went to support the tabernacle/temple and personnel, you would get something like 22%.

No number is specified in the NT; only "as one is able".

Larry

No number is specified in the NT, but Paul, a "Pharisee of the Pharisees" says we are to be generous. Would Paul, steeped in the OT and Pharisaical teaching would consider anything less than what the OT required as "generous"?

Michael W. Kruse

Tony Campolo used to point out the 10% of the national wealth was spent on the festival of feasts. In other words, a party with God. The question is, once you have spent 10% on the party, what are you going to do with the other 90% of God's money?

Peggy

Exactly...it's ALL God's money.

Lee Zehrer

God who?

Rev. Rod Bakker

Mike,

Good to read your blog.

Has anyone ever written one of those "Four views on tithing" books? IVP has produced an number of such books on various topics.

I would read it.

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks Rod. I like the "four views" idea. I nominate you for general editor. :)

Seriously, I did quick search at Amazon and was underwhelmed by the listings. I may do some digging on this topic.

Rob Fox

Hi, I am Rob Fox, moderator of an internet forum called Tithing Study. I set up the forum “Tithing Study” for the sole purpose of discussing this topic. If you want to join, send an e-mail to:

Tithing-Study-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Among it's members includes Dr. Russell Kelly, author of the book "Should the Church Teach Tithing". Dr. David Croteau, who wrote his doctor's thesis on Tithing, Kevin Rohr, pastor who was mentioned in the article because he lost his job over his views, and Richard Wayne Garganta, local television anchor in Rhode Island.

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks Rob. I may just take you up on that.

Brad Cooper

Michael,

I wrote the following response to someone over at Jesus Creed. Peggy, let us know that you were discussing tithing here. (Thanks, Peggy!) So I thought I'd add this response to the mix:

I do not really have time to do justice to the subject of tithing–too many important issues to deal with. But let me give you some directions to consider.

First: Is tithing part of the old covenant that has been done away with, as with circumcision? My answer is yes. But this is a difficult issue–to be taken seriously. But no time or space here.

Many will say that I’m wrong anyways. So for the sake of argument, I say: OK, go ahead and follow the Old Testament tithe. Take 10% of all the food you produce and bring it to the temple at Jerusalem.

You see, there is a more basic problem than whether Old Testament tithing is binding on New Testament believers. The problem is that the tithe taught today does not correspond to the Old Testament tithe. The modern teaching states that we’re to give 10% of our monetary income. The Old Testament never says that. It simply asks for a tenth of any food that’s harvested.

Some will protest: “But it was an agricultural economy.” Perhaps, but did it affect how much they ate? That’s what the OT tithe is all about. Most Israelites inherited land to grow crops and raise clean animals. The Levites and priests did not. The tithe was brought to supply food for those who did not own land: the Levites, the priests, the poor, and the aliens.

Furthermore, saying it was an agricultural economy implies that all that was produced was food. The fact is that there was no tithe on the wages of the potter, the weaver, the carpenter, the metal worker, the hired hand, the fisherman, etc., etc. The OT temple income included much more than just the tithe and is far too complex to reduce to a simple percentage taxed to each person. I wish I could elaborate here, but for space….

Let it suffice for now to say that the OT tithe amounts to less than 10% of a person’s grocery bill (i.e., only the part that includes the raising of food–not soaps, etc.). For my family of five, that’s easily less than $10 a week. But the tithe is not paid by those buying groceries. It’s paid by those who grow the groceries….

Perhaps the biggest problem with the modern teaching about tithing is the purpose. The OT tithing was designed to help the poor–to bring relief and mercy. The modern teaching puts a difficult burden on the poor.

There is much more that needs to be said about this–especially about what New Testament giving should look like, but this will have to do for now.

Brad Cooper

Michael,

I was also underwhelmed by Amazon's picks on tithing. Much of the anti-tithing stuff had an odor of bitterness and judgmenatlism.

There were a few that looked like possibilities, but I did not recognize any of the authors. I note that you mentioned Kostenberger above. I'm not really familiar with him. But I'm a little surprised that I have not seen any other major evangelical Biblical scholar taking on this issue....hhhmmmm.

Keep up the great work, Michael. May the peace of our Lord Jesus fill your days.

Rod, Thanks for the info about the tithing-study group. Already sent an email to subscribe. Thanks!

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks so much Brad.

Can you tell me which thread you posted you comment to Jesus Creed? Excellent thoughts!

Brad Cooper

The original thread on "Letter about those Pesky Calvinists," post #215.

Thanks for the affirmation. Truly means a lot coming from you.

I've been working on a book on the subject for the last few years. I feel like the time to finish it is coming. Right now it's just a bunch of notes and chapter ideas. I need to get busy on it.
Peace.

Michael W. Kruse

Go for it, Brad. I'll finish my book if you'll finish yours. :) Its a race!

Brad Cooper

You're on....though I might not be that great of competition! :) May the Lord make it all happen in his time, by his power, and for his glory! But I sense that the time for both of us is soon.

Peggy

Hey, Brad and Michael...glad to see I was able to facilitate a helpful connection, off-topic and all, on that "pesky" thread ;^) ...it was almost as depressing as some of the women in ministry threads! :^(

When you guys get your books finished, I'll buy one :^)

Be blessed!

Brad Cooper

Peggy,

Thanks for your encouragement! Blessings!

Michael W. Kruse

Ditto.

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