A Biblical Theology of Material Possessions

Written by Gene A. Getz Reviewed By Craig Blomberg

Rarely does Moody Press send Themelios works which are sufficiently academic in nature and non-provincial in perspective to merit noting here. The newly inaugurated Wycliffe Commentary Series is a notable exception; so is Getz’s survey of relevant NT texts on the use of money and material resources. Despite its title, only one chapter delves into the OT at all; this probably reflects the author’s dispensationalist background. But as a compendium of NT teaching, the work is indispensable. Particularly helpful is the enumeration and discussion of 126 ‘supracultural principles’ which Getz believes emerge from the Scriptures surveyed. Even with this quantity there are surprising omissions—no exposition of liberation theology’s classic prooftext (Jas. 2:5), nor of the extended description of the downfall of the end-time evil empire in Revelation 18—portrayed in classically capitalist terms! And there are predictable domestications of other texts in light of the author’s conservative American milieu. But if evangelicals could take seriously even a small fraction of the principles Getz expounds, the world would be a quite different place. A popular paperback digest of the work is also available: Real Prosperity: Biblical Principles of Material Possessions.

Craig Blomberg

Craig Blomberg
Denver Seminary
Denver, Colorado, USA