I recently read the most challenging and inspiring book I’ve read in a long time. Unbelievably, it’s a book on tithing! Douglas Leblanc’s Tithing: Test Me in This is the latest title in the Ancient Practices Series. In this book Leblanc challenges us to practice the discipline of tithing. He does this not by undertaking an exegesis of relevant bible passages or preaching a sermon, but by interviewing people whose lives have been decidedly marked by tithing and generosity. These interviews include members of a 1970s intentional community, an author who has given away millions of dollars in book royalties, and a pastor helping a New Orleans’ neighborhood rebuild after Katrina. An interview with a Jewish rabbi gives useful background to the Old Testament commandments on tithing and generosity.
Leblanc looks at tithing not as an act of legalism but as an act of grace that is the doorway to a life of generosity. Tithing is discussed as a Christian practice through which God invites us to participate in His purposes in the world. Tithing is a means of grace through which one learns to live in the fullness of the Kingdom of God that is present now.
When I received a review copy of Tithing from Thomas Nelson, I anticipated reading it a few pages at a time, but was so inspired that I read the entire book in one day. I pray that my life would be marked by the radical dependence on God and joyful partnering in His work in the world that is seen in this book.