Book recommendation: Redeeming Money by Paul David Tripp

Redeeming Money: How God Reveals and Reorients Our Hearts by Paul David Tripp

Over the past week, I’ve enjoyed and reflected upon Paul David Tripp’s recently published book, Redeeming Money: How God Reveals and Reorients Our Hearts. This is a book I’m happy to recommend and I hope that it reaches a wider audience.

Redeeming Money is a book for Christians about how to understand money in a Biblical context. It’s not a book about finance, so there’s nothing about how to invest wisely or how to budget appropriately. But this book is still practical albeit in a somewhat different way: the author teaches us how to think about money in way that reflects what Scripture teaches. As the author notes, Jesus talked about money a lot. How then, should Christians understand God’s intentions for our use of it?

Particularly noteworthy in this book is Tripp’s approach of looking at the bigger picture of human nature and God’s work of redemption. This is not simply a discussion on the parts of the Bible that discuss money (of which there are plenty, e.g. 1 Timothy 6:10). Instead, Tripp takes both a wider and deeper approach. For example, he begins by setting out the premise that understanding money requires thinking properly about one’s identity:

You can’t understand money if you don’t understand who you are, and money is one of the principal ways you demonstrate who you think you are. There is no better indicator of the identity you have
assigned to yourself than the way you use money. Why does one person proudly throw money around? Why does another person use her money to buy all the cultural markers of success? Why is
that neighbor of yours so proudly vocal about his charity? Why has yet another person never been able to stay out of debt? Why does that couple quietly give away such a big portion of their income? Why is your friend so gripped with money fears? Why does she struggle with envy and embarrassment whenever she is around her wealthy friends? Why does he try to hide the fact that he grew up in poverty? Why did Jesus talk about this topic more than any other? Why is money such a big deal? Why are some of us never satisfied, even though we have so much money, and why are some of us content with so little? The answer to all these questions is identity.

And from there, Trip begins a most helpful Bible study on how God wants us to see ourselves, how we so often fall short, and how God redeems us. This becomes the pattern of the book: that the way we think about money isn’t to be treated in isolation, as if money is a special category of its own, quite apart from the rest of life’s concerns. Rather, the way we think about our needs and desires, and our willingness to seek after Christ and follow his example, affects all aspects of our lives, including how we handle money. In short, financial matters always concern the heart. Focus on getting your heart right and you have the right basis to proceed.

From that essential platform, Tripp deals sensitively on matters that will be helpful to many. There are useful sections on debt and generosity, and on greed and envy. There is encouragement and advice for those with little money and those with plenty. There is a refreshing honesty in the author’s own personal examples of temptation and struggle. All of this is presented with careful and accurate exposition of Scripture, which is characteristic of the author.

I am a fan of Paul Tripp’s writings and this work, as with so many of his writings, provides both a profound understanding of human nature as well as thoroughly reliable exposition of Scripture. It would be hard to imagine any Christian who would not gain from this book. This is indeed a book to be treasured, for it points us towards Jesus while teaching us to use money for his glory. Spend your money wisely and buy this book.

Note: This book would be very helpful for individual use but would also be suitable in church small groups. There are questions at the end of each of the ten chapters for review and reflection, along with associated Bible passages for further study.

Dr Andy Cheung teaches Biblical Studies and Theology at King’s Evangelical Divinity School.

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