22.2.11

"Tithing: Test Me In This" by Douglas Leblanc



Douglas Leblanc, Tithing: Test Me in This (The Ancient Practices Series). Thomas Nelson, 2010, 176 pages. 

Thanks to BookSneeze® for providing a free copy of this book for me to review. 

Yet another book in "The Ancient Practices Series." If I could review the entire series and follow with a set review I would.  Sadly, this may be the last one available in E-Book format and with the usual mailing times for hard copies I will be lucky to get one more, let alone the four that I have yet to read. Anyway, on to this book. 

What we do not have in this book is a defense, explanation, or teaching on tithing. There is nothing here on how to fast nor why, at least not explicitly and if you tried to draw implicit lessons you would be left wondering which ones to take. In these pages Leblanc has collected the stories of eleven individuals or couples who have made tithing a regular practice in their life. Resisting what may have been a strong urge to draw lessons from these stories, Leblanc allows them to speak for themselves. Within these pages you will find names you will probably recognize (like Randy Alcorn, Gregory and Frederica-Matthews Green, or Ron and Arbutus Sider, among others) and many you may not. Leblanc has drawn people from a wide range of backgrounds into his collection. And, momentarily, you will be allowed a small window into their walk with God. 

This was quite an enjoyable book.  The tales within are presented in decent literary fashion, nothing spectacular, but neither was there anything to take the mind's eye away from the tale itself. This is, perhaps, as it should be. Nonetheless, it is a particularly vexing choice, in a series exploring the ancient Christian disciplines, to neglect any aspect of teaching or biblical instruction on this particular practice. The stories were interesting, to be sure, but I Leblanc ought to have given this book a second, or a first, half in which he does some of the legwork and foundation building for these stories to stand on. After all, is anyone picking up the books in this series so they can merely be regaled with the tales of Godly men and women in their experience of tithing? I doubt it.  I certainly wasn't. Sadly, the fine art of story-telling with a purpose, parables and the like, seems to be lost and this book does nothing to save it. 

Conclusion: 2.5 stars. Conditionally recommended.  It was a good read, but not what I expected. Don't come here looking for instruction. The best you can hope for are some interesting thoughts along the way. 

No comments: