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The Shrewd Christian: You Can't Have It All, But You Can Have More Than Enough Paperback – February 17, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (February 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578567963
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578567966
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing on such personal-finance classics as "Your Money or Your Life" and "The Millionaire Next Door," Atkinson encourages readers to evaluate whether their current jobs are satisfying and are leading them toward financial independence. Far too often, he tells us, people sell out their true dreams to meet the escalating demands of our trade-up, supersize-it society. True financial freedom, by contrast, lies in determining how much is enough, and learning to live within our means. By saving more, we can work less; by being frugal with both big-ticket items and small expenses, we can put our dollars toward the things that really matter to us. The book is directed toward the audience Atkinson calls the "CMC," or the Christian Middle Class, a group he desires to be economically productive and spiritually fulfilled. One chapter recommends an innovative program called "100 Days to Shrewd," including a month-long "draconian adventure" where readers halt all unnecessary spending for 30 days. This unusual program helps Christians cultivate gratitude and understand how people live in other parts of the world.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Neil Atkinson has an extremely solid, biblical perspective on personal finances. As he states, shrewd Christians do not ignore money or stop at money alone. Instead, they go through money and get past money so they can be involved in more important things. I highly recommend this book. It’s fun, serious, and full of practical helps.”
–Denny Rydberg, president of Young Life, an international outreach ministry to adolescents

“What I love about this book is the coupling of callings: that people matter and money matters. The Shrewd Christian is a fantastic guide to improving your economy while maintaining your ‘people are primary’ philosophy.”
–Marilyn Meberg, author of The Zippered Heart and speaker for the Women of Faith conferences

“Neil Atkinson does a masterful job of offering the ‘Christian middle-class’ practical solutions to everyday financial issues. The Shrewd Christian challenges and encourages God’s people to live as biblically wise stewards in an increasingly hostile world.”
–David Briggs, director of the Good Sense Stewardship Ministry at Willow Creek Community Church

“Neil’s wry sense of humor punctuates each page of The Shrewd Christian; his years of personal experience and his wisdom make this book invaluable. The Shrewd Christian makes it not only possible but simple and fun to control money, instead of letting it control you.”
–Grace Ketterman, child and family psychiatrist and author of numerous books, including When You Feel Like Screaming

“Neil helps us to understand how we can reach the goals of gladness and contentment and how costly it is to our souls when we allow finances to be the center of our affections. As you read Neil’s wise counsel in this book, you will hear the voice of Jesus whispering in your ear, ‘Follow me.’ Neil encourages and teaches us to stop listening to the bad shepherds in our society and to keep our souls aligned with the Good Shepherd: Jesus.” 
–Craig Williford, Ph.D., president of Denver Seminary

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Martha Homme on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Never would I have expected when The Shrewd Christian was recommended for immediate read that it would be such an engaging, "entertaining", encouraging and enlightening book about--of all things, finances!! I rarely read anything in one sitting, but Neil Atkinson kept my attention--through his own story, through a writing style that almost jumped off the page, through his knowledge as well as his passion for his subject. I'm excited about a book which focuses on helping the Christian middle class (plus anyone who elects to read this informative threatise) attain financial freedom--not so we can "have" more but so that we might "be" more about what matters--"kingdom work and relationships". Although I'm not sure if my husband and I can "live well on less than half of the money we make", Neil and his wife Margie's goal, I was certainly challenged to look at how we do live. Thankfully Neil didn't just challenge me, he also gave many, many helpful and practical ways to become "truly wealthy". Bravo to NA and Waterbrook for bringing a radically passionate financial prospective to my attention.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By listener on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
THE GOOD:
(1) Excellent overall philosophy/approach/attitude to money is presented.
(2) Humor and personal examples prevent this from being dry and boring.
(3) The last section on buying a home (a house does not equal a home) is some of the best nonfiction I have ever read.

THE BAD:
(1) More practical details would be welcomed in some areas, especially in getting out of debt and where to store your retirement nest egg(s).
(2) Mr. Atkinson sometimes gets close to sounding cynical/paranoid. (Businesses are out to destroy you! Give them as little profit as possible!)
(3) This is a nitpick, but when talking about adding extra principal payment to your mortgage, Mr. Atkinson talks about "skipping" a payment. I know what he is talking about, but some people would get the impression that you could just not send in next month's mortgage payment. That is certainly not true.

OTHER NOTES:
(1) I would recommend this book for all Christian adults (or upper teens).
(2) If you are deep in non-mortgage debt and are looking for a way out, I recommend one of Dave Ramsey's books first and then read this one right after.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eastern US on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has saved me from making a huge mistake! I was about to go out and take a second job to get myslef out of debt, but using the principles in Neil's book, I have already found (saved) hundred's of dollars that I didn't know I was losing every single week! I estimate that I will keep (for that debt payoff) an extra $5,200.00-$7,800.00 this year alone! And, best of all, this is without spending one extra minute outside my home and away from my children! Thank God for this book! Buy it, read it, share it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Budget Betty on March 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a truly great book. I bought it on a whim at a used bookstore and my financial life has become better because of it. I am not Christian but bought it because I love finance books (I have my own bookkeeping business). The concepts that are written about are applicable to everyone, and speak of the importance of building a happy and satisfying life by building good personal relationships and productive activities. Unlike most personal finance books it doesn't feel you should have budget which is where most people have failure issues. I would absolutely suggest this book to anyone and feel it will pay for itself with the first day or two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Smith on March 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Shrewd Christian", Neil Atkinson employs a very conversational style of writing. The material might have been taken directly from class lectures that he has given. I appreciate his insights on how the culture, and we as individuals, are affected by marketing and materialism. The section on contentment was especially perceptive. Much of the rest of the book reads almost as a frugal living handbook. Well worth the price.
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