Book Review: God vs. Money by Clif Christopher

by | August 15, 2018

In his book, God vs. Money, Horizons' founder, Clif Christopher draws on his experience as a member of the US Army to create a powerful metaphor intended to examine a potent enemy of the church—greed. In his typical direct, take-no-prisoners communication style, Christopher proclaims the theater of combat is our society that saturates our daily lives with messages of needing more stuff. Christopher uses “war language” to convey the importance of defeating the most significant deterrent to building disciples in our churches and ultimately funding the church’s mission.

 

Christopher says, “I truly believe that we must take the attack upon our Christian values by a greedy, self-serving society very seriously.”

 

Clif Christopher, who is an ordained minister of The United Methodist Church, pushes heavily on pastors to act as “drill instructors” who should model for others a generous life. Despite being subject to the same barrage of messages from the enemy, pastors must resist temptation and live a generous life. Pastors should be able to preach and teach biblical stewardship principles and draw from personal and authentic experiences.

 

Pastors are drill instructors who should model for others a generous life.

In subsequent chapters, Christopher expands on his metaphor to describe strategies for defeating the enemy in “the combat zone.” Fighting against the “you can have it all” mentality, the church must face the enemy head-on and counter the message of more is better. In God vs. Money, Christopher provides ample tools that can be immediately applied in every church to defeat the enemy grow disciples.

 

God vs. Money is a must-read for every pastor, stewardship chair, finance committee member, and church leader who wants to meet greed on the battlefield and reclaim biblical stewardship principles.

 

Here’s what church leaders are saying about God vs. Money:

Clif Christopher has done it again! In his usual direct and clear way, Clif calls the church and its leaders to engage the struggle of “God vs. Money" head on in a faithful and discipled way. I recommend this book as a "must read" for clergy and lay leaders alike who wish to lead congregations into lives of generosity and grace.

 

Carl Frazier, Jr., Lead Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Cary, North Carolina.

 

Books do not always mirror their author’s intent, God vs. Money does! Christopher’s book reads like a jeremiad. It is a “call to arms.”  It is challenging clergy and congregations to declare war against the cultural god Mammon. It is also a training manual for growing generous congregations and disciples: people who make worship a priority, prayer a daily practice, giving testimony a way of living, community service a moral obligation and tithing a requirement of church membership. Read and imagine how such congregations might alter the landscape of a community…even the world.

 

Bill Enright, Emeritus Founding Executive Director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Former Senior Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis. Bill is the author of Kitchen Table Giving: Reimagining How Congregations Connect With Their Donors.

 

For those of us who have learned from him for many years, this book is vintage Christopher! Again he shares very practical wisdom about the gospel, the church and money in an extended metaphor of spiritual warfare. Its sense of urgency for the mission of the church is compelling!

 

Scott Jones, Bishop, Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church

 

God vs. Money is a must read battle plan for pastors and lay leaders who need to confront the ‘God of Materialism.’ It will equip them to discredit a god who preaches that all you need for happiness and fulfillment is a credit card and lots of stuff. It will help them focus their preaching or teaching on the God of Jesus who lived a spirit of generosity.

 

Charles Cloughen, Jr, Episcopal Priest, Planned Giving Officer-Diocese of Maryland, and author of One Minute Stewardship: Creative Ways to Talk About Money in Church.

 

[God vs. Money] is an excellent book and Clif is so on with what he is talking about. I do a lot of Sunday morning sermons on Stewardship and Generosity in churches all over the state of Nebraska. One of the first things that I remind them of is that everything they possess is God’s. I had a gentleman come up to me several weeks ago, and he thank me for the “pearls of wisdom” and for reminding him of what he has is God’s. He told me that he had forgotten that and it was good to be reminded.

I have several of Clif’s books and often use them as references in my talks. The church IS in dire trouble because they have forgotten why they give! Excellent, excellent book. I enjoy reading his books because they are easy to read, and he lays it out. You never have to guess trying to read between the lines. To the point and clear! I have always admired that about the way he writes. I most certainly endorse this book, and I will be purchasing one for the office.

 

Anita Crisp, Executive Director, Nebraska United Methodist Foundation

 

Clif Christopher is not only my “go to guy” when it comes to the stewardship of money, he’s also a long-time friend. I’ve read every book he’s written and each time I think it’s his best one. God vs. Money is no different. It’s a winner! Clif utilizes his experience as a pastor and chaplain in the military to lay out a life plan for raising up generous disciples. He declares war on the ungrateful life. You don’t want to miss this one.

 

Bill Easum, Founder and President of The Effective Church Group and author of over 21 books including co-authoring Dinosaur to Rabbits: Turning Mainline Decline to a Multiplication Movement.

 

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