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The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving (LifeChange Books) Hardcover – September 6, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"When you discover the secret joy of the Treasure Principle, I guarantee you'll never be content with less." So claims Alcorn in the introduction to this small gift book on Christian generosity. Noting that fifteen percent of Christ's teachings in the New Testament deal with money and possessions-more than his teachings on heaven and hell combined-Alcorn compares heavenly treasure, which is eternal, with earthly riches, which "will always be lost" after death. Alcorn encourages Christians to understand that everything they believe they own is actually God's; they are merely managers. He is a compelling storyteller, whether drawing on Scripture, accounts of others who have lived generously, or recounting his own experiences; all of his book royalties and a large portion of his salary go to charity. Analyzing the pervasive disease of "affluenza" and the fact that Americans' unprecedented wealth does not seem to be bringing extraordinary happiness, he says that he and other people who have discovered the secret of unfettered giving know that they are storing up treasures in heaven, their true home. Alcorn's writing here is more akin to a motivational speech (including an overabundance of rhetorical questions, italicized words and exclamation points for emphasis) than a book. However, many Christians will appreciate his countercultural messages that "giving is the only antidote to materialism" and the "health and wealth gospel dishonors Christ." Indeed, for many, this could be a life-changing book.
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"Supercharged with stunning, divine truth! Lightning struck over and over as I read it." -- John Piper, senior pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis

"The Treasure Principle will change your life! This book is destined to become a classic." -- Howard Dayton, CEO Crown Financial Minstries --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: LifeChange Books
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books; 2001 Edition edition (September 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590525086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590525081
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Randy Alcorn is an author and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching principles of God's Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. His ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly time, money, possessions and opportunities to invest in need-meeting ministries that count for eternity. He accomplishes this by analyzing, teaching, and applying the biblical truth.

Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He has an MA degree in Biblical Studies from Multnomah University and an Honorary Doctorate from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon and has taught on the adjunct faculties of both.

A New York Times bestselling author, Randy has written more than forty books, including Courageous, Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home. His books in print exceed seven million and have been translated into over fifty languages. Randy has written for many magazines including EPM's issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives. He is active daily on Facebook and Twitter, has been a guest on more than 700 radio, television and online programs including Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, The Bible Answer Man, and The Resurgence.

Randy resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and are the proud grandparents of five grandsons. Randy enjoys hanging out with his family, biking, tennis, research, and reading.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Hodge on April 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic. It is concise, motivational, and profound. I read it the first time and thought it was great, and then went back and took notes for a second reading and thought it was even better. This would be a great book to study with a small group or just discussing as a book club with friends.
Alcorn does a great job of using illustrations and stories to motivate believers to think "eternally" about every giving, saving and spending decision. This is the heart of true stewardship.
The main principles of the book are important to memorize and carry them on our hearts:
Principle #1- God owns everything. I am His money manager.
Principle #2- My heart always goes where I put God's money.
Principle #3- Heaven, not Earth, is my home.
Principle #4- I should live for the line (eternity), not the dot(short life on earth).
Principle #5- Giving is the only antidote for materialism.
Principle #6- God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
I highly recommend this great book. The only drawback in my opinion is his focus on tithing and using Malachi 3:8-10 as a verse to support his belief that tithing still applies.
He makes compelling arguments for teaching tithing as a starting point (Christians give on average 2-3 percent of their income), but I believe the "Church" abuses this doctrine in most cases. The bigger message is stewardship. If believers understand that... the tithe is totally inapplicable. I agree with his heart on this issue, but disagree with his belief that the tithe should be taught.
But that is a minor deal in the overall scheme of things. The book is a treasure that I will pass out to friends, family and re-read many times until these principles are lived out in my own life.
Ashley Hodge, CFP
Southlake, TX
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on March 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
-- Who wants to know why their giving doesn't work?

-- Why, when you give, is the joy not there?

-- Why, when the pastor does a series on giving at the beginning of the year is there a feeling that the church is trying to get into your wallet?

-- If we think about tithing, why is there endless debate on gross versus net?

-- Why, if we are trying to make prosperity giving work, do we feel fear that if we give, God won't give back in a large enough measure?

Dr. Alcorn deals with these questions and more in the delightful little book. This is a book for those who really want to understand God's perspective on giving. It is not "give and I'll bless you back," though He does say that He loves cheerful givers. It is not about the amount or percentage that we give. It is not about when or where we give. It is about our hearts and giving.

Are you willing to explore the thought, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal"? The Treasure Principle drills down on this thought and other key verses that help the reader understand that God is concerned about what our focus and perspective are, not on how much money we give. He is concerned about where our hearts are--compared to where they should be--not where our pocketbook is. He is concerned about the treasures we are collecting--and where we are storing them.

Armchair Interviews says: This little book packs a punch, and it is backed by Dr. Alcorn's own experience of seeing The Treasure Principle at work in his life and the lives of those involved with his ministry.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Scandalous Sanity VINE VOICE on November 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I got this book at a church. They were giving them away for free. I decided to read it, because I'm interested in giving and tithing. I have to be honest: I thought this was going to be another "Rich Christian" book, the kind that give you strategies for reducing debt, being a good steward, and investing responsibly in the stock market, giving a good portion of your profits to the local church.

I was wrong.

While there are some things about this book I don't agree with--at one point Alcorn says that financial stewardship is central to our spiritual lives(I'm paraphrasing)--the overall theme is actually pretty good. Almost two-thirds of the book is devoted to giving. But not just the usual give to your local church because you should type of giving. Alcorn calls Christians to give generously, until it hurts. He even gives an example from his own life which was quite impressive.

If you're looking for a book on giving, The Treasure Principle is a good place to start. It isn't a very deep work, but it is surprisingly refreshing in a world of "gimme, gimme" Christians.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Keith Krell on December 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you are passionate about making your life count for eternity, it is essential that you read "The Treasure Principle." This book will teach you how to eternally invest your financial resources. Contrary to the health, wealth, and prosperity movement, Alcorn will challenge and motivate you from the Bible to use your money for the advancement of God's kingdom. Since we can't take any of our financial resources with us once we die, Alcorn encourages us to "send our money ahead" for the pure joy that comes from giving and also so that we will experience great rewards in eternity.
Because I'm a busy pastor and have much to read, I typically skim books but I couldn't do so with this book. Randy Alcorn is a life-changing writer who pierces my heart with his every word. When Alcorn writes, there are no singles; every sentence is a Home Run! This forces me to be an expectant reader and to discard my highlighter because everything should be highlighted. If you care about your eternal home, spend your money wisely and buy this book!
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