Author Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove challenges people to enjoy the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Jonathon’s book , God’s Economy: Redefining the Health and Wealth Gospel, is not your typical Health and Wealth Gospel being flogged by many in the Church today. Rather, it is an attempt to express what Jonathon and others who are living in new monastic communities are experiencing as they take Jesus at His Word. Jonathon understands Jesus’ call into relationship with Him as a salvation that secures not only forgiveness of sin and eternal life but also a salvation that secures participation in an alternative economy so that the abundant life is lived now.
Each of the “tactics” of the alternative economy presented by Jonathon enliven me and make me nervous. Fortunately they are not Jonathon’s tactics, but Jesus’ commands to those who follow him. The alternative economy moves according to these commands:
Tactic 1: Subversive Service: How God’s Economy Slips In. “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Tactic 2: Eternal Investments: How God’s Children Plan Ahead. “Store up for yourselves treasure in heaven.” Matthew 6:20
Tactic 3: Economic Friendships: How Real Security Happens. “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves.” Luke 16:9
Tactic 4: Relational Generosity: How We Share Good News. “Give to the one who asks you.” Mathew 5:42
Tactic 5: Gracious Politics: How to Live Under Occupation. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Mark 12:17
I only completed my first reading of Jonathon’s book today. But, I heartedly recommend God’s Economy to anyone who has handled money, to anyone who has been troubled by their own selfishness and greed, to anyone who wonders if Jesus really means for us to live better on less, and to anyone who is committed to being a Acts 2 community with a group of Christians. God’s Economy is not really a how-to manual. It is a confessional work, full of stories and testimonies of others who have entered into a generous and abundant life with Jesus and sought out, sometimes painfully–, how to live by faith in the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.