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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2010
There are many excellent books on money, generosity and stewardship...but few are as succinct and practical as this book. Taking his cues from Luke 12, Jamie skillfully addresses many of the hot-button questions and issues regarding money in the church. The very fact that he addresses the question of owning a flat-screen TV demonstrates that he is in touch with the most basic questions that the average American is asking or at least thinking.

Get this book. If you're a pastor, buy copies of this book for your leaders and make it available for your people either via a bookstore/library or by using it in your small groups.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2011
Just like everything that comes out of Mars Hill Church, Seattle, Money:God or Gift, by Jamie Munson, is an intensely practical book about stewardship, God's desire for our giving, and our heart's inclination toward God. You'll quickly realize two things as you read through the pages of this slim book. 1) This book has virtually no "fluff" at all, and 2) Our hearts are much more connected to our bank account than we often acknowledge. We are all created to worship something, and this inclination can be expressed both religiously and secularly; as well as intentionally or unconsciously. In our culture we find that money is often times our god of choice, and Christians are often times an example of idolatrous devotion to this false God. We can worship money or we can worship God, not both. The challenge of Money is that it boldly calls you to choose, and confronts the hypocrisy of claiming both. Money is also about stewardship. The theology of stewardship is a mega-theme throughout scripture. Munson says, "Everything we have comes from God and belongs to God: life, family, money, resources, time, job, talents . . .everything. We are stewards of what God has given us. He owns it; we use it." (Money p19) It is off the foundations of worship and stewardship that Money delivers concise theology as well as practical wisdom on how we can handle our finances in a God-glorifying, grace-motivated way.

This book is a gut-check for me. It is bold enough to confront me with my sinful tendencies, encourage me where God's grace is at work, and make me ambitious for future growth. Munson challenges me keep a close watch on my motives and heart, and does not allow me to coast on misleading thoughts. Thoughts like: I'm not in debt so I must be responsible; I tithe so I'm already ahead of the learning curve; Jesus, I've given enough, the rest is mine to do what I want. This book challenges me to think about whether Jesus is really lord of ALL my life, including my credit card. There were points reading this book where I was rejoicing at fruit in my life, sorrowful over sin, and connecting deeply with the themes and topics of this book.

[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
I was so happy to come across this book by Jamie Munson. During the past few years, I have gone from years of religion in church to being liberated by the Gospel. One of the things I have struggled with is my selfishness with my money. In comes "Money, God or Gift?"

The first strength of this book is that it is very tight. Words are not wasted at all. Jamie is very efficient with his words and is a very good teacher. The chapters are short and are the perfect length for family devotions or small groups.

The second is its vertical direction. Jamie asks the question: Who does our money belong to, us or God? Do we worship money? Or do we worship God with our money? Does our money belong to us or are we just managers of God's money? These are dangerous and potentially life changing questions to ask yourself.

The third strength is its Gospel centrality. For years I was taught that 10 percent was the requirement, which led me to legalism. I learned a few years ago that somewhere near 27 percent was required of the Israelites and after that they gave even more. Rather than legalism, Jamie shows that when we are freed by the Gospel, our hearts want to give. That leads to radical generosity instead of legalistic, joyless giving.

The fourth strength is that it keeps Gospel freedom tensioned with Gospel responsibility. It would be easy to say that we are free from the law and then give little to nothing. Jamie keeps these in tension perfectly, showing that we should not hoard our money, nor be wasteful with our money, enjoy God's blessings, yet at the same time be radically generous with our money. It's a tough tension to keep, but Jamie articulated it well.

The fifth strength is the number of practical ideas included within, much of which was consolidated by Dave Ramsey in books like Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace. These are good tips that will get you on track if you're in debt and in becoming more financially responsible.

I read this right before I read "Treasure Principle" by Randy Alcorn. I think they are very good companions to each other. Munson gleans some of the wisdom in his book from Randy Alcorn. I actually prefer Jamie's book because of it's Gospel Centrality, the tension it keeps that I mentioned above and the format of the book. Each chapter is really a devotional that you can stew in for a few days before moving on to the next one. There were a couple times that, because of my heart, I had to put the book down because I was convicted. Other times, I felt the weight of legalism drop off my shoulders.

Bottom line: Highly readable, Gospel-centered, very practical and concise. I would recommend it to any church as required reading for their congregation. I think it would free many people from legalism and lead to joyful, radical generosity, as it has in my life. I am now going through the book for family devotions with my wife and three kids. The Gospel truly sets people free. Thanks for pointing the way Jamie :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2011
I am a senior in college just about to graduate and a little overwhelmed at the idea of figuring out how to pay off loans, live within my means, and be financially independent. This book could not have come at a better time. It gives practical advice that anyone can use to work towards becoming a good steward, living within his or her means, getting and staying out of debt, and living a life of giving. It turned what had been, in my mind, the chaos of finances into an understandable concept. Most importantly it took the focus off money and put it on Jesus. After reading this book I was able to set up a budget that allows for giving, saving, paying off loans and everyday living. There are no get rich quick schemes or promises of rich returns for generosity, but there are practical methods to steward the money God's given you well to glorify Him. Worth reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2012
Many years ago I was thoroughly indoctrinated into the Dave Ramsey philosophy of money and have since acted upon it. That said, Money by Jamie Munson is very much a primer into this philosophy but does not present it as a whole. There is, however, one main attribute which I feel sets it apart and makes it very much worth the read. That is that it focuses on the motivation behind our financial management and the end result we are working towards. Jamie Munson spends quite a bit of time dealing with the reasons why we should stay debt free as opposed to how. He also does a very good job of addressing the theology of stewardship which I have not heard very often of late. In the end, how we manage our money should not be all about remaining debt free. Instead it should be about how we can get our finances to a place where we can experience some freedom and the ability to be exceedingly generous when the opportunity arises.

A great book that I can happily recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2010
Great teaching on the proper perspective we should have of money. It is a gift that we are stewards of. Many great applications, consistent and concise exegesis of scripture. A must read for both pastors and congregations alike.
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on July 11, 2013
Title: Money: God or Gift by Jamie Munson
Format: PDF provided by Storycartel & author in exchange for an honest review.

This book contains easy to follow financial advice for saving, getting rid of debt, and using your money wisely. The author follows each step of advice with a plethitude of Bible verses. A simple and concise guide for those new to money management that has a spiritual backing.

I felt the book was more informative and factual rather than trying to personally involve the reader. That's not a bad thing for the reader who needs all the emotions cut out and an easy to follow guide to get started. In my own preference, I liked to personally connect with books through personal stories or anecdotes; that always seems to motivate me beyond just learning some basic information. Overall, a good money guide.
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on January 4, 2011
Munson's new book on Money is a short but solid treatment of an issue that every Christ Follower should be concerned with. It is written in a style that is accessible to anyone wanting to learn more about the scriptural teaching on money. In other words, you don't need to be trained Bible scholar to understand this book. For that reason (and the low price point) we recently gave a copy to every household in our church. Reading this book will give you a better sense of where your financial resources, and your stewardship of those resources, fit into the bigger picture of your whole life and even God's kingdom work, and will help you assess where your priorities are truly found.
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on September 14, 2011
This 125 page book amongst one of the greatest and essential guides on the topic of generous living. It has helped me as I prepare my church's congregation to receive and pray over Sunday offerings. It is great for the family and group use. The only bad thing is, a hard cover edition is needed; this is once reference that I will want to keep for a long time in my family's library.
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on January 8, 2011
This book is a straightforward resource applicable to any member of the laity. Jamie Munson lays out sound biblical frameworks for all aspects of financial stewardship from cradle to grave. Designed for usage in the church and small groups this book will be very helpful. Worth triple the $5 asking price- easy.
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