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Money Matters
Faith, Life, and Wealth

PAPERBACK; Published: 1/26/2021
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7751-2
Price: $ 19.99
199 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
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A guide to investing in heaven and being “rich toward God” 

Christians often hesitate to talk about money in spiritual contexts, but in the gospels Jesus talks more about money than about “religious” topics like prayer and heaven. Money Matters advocates following Jesus’s lead in engaging with matters of economy and finance in a faith-driven way, in both our individual and our corporate lives. The authors draw on their contrasting life experiences to offer a well-rounded look at money in the twenty-first century. Paul Stevens, who grew up well-off in Canada and worked as a carpenter, a banker, and later a pastor and professor of theology, finds a complementary voice in Clive Lim, who grew up without money in Singapore, and now works there as an entrepreneur and head of a family investment firm. With frequent scriptural references, Stevens and Lim offer insight into navigating the economic systems of today, aiming to help individuals, churches, and societies become faithful stewards who store up “treasures in heaven” by investing in the kingdom of God. 

Money Matters is a comprehensive yet accessible guide to integrating one’s faith with one’s approach to money. Just as the Bible variously treats money as a blessing, a sacrament, and a problem, so do Stevens and Lim approach this matter judiciously—avoiding the prosperity gospel on one side and the demonization of material wealth on the other. Capitalism is treated as what it is: a system that has created widespread opportunity and relieved poverty for millions while also exacerbating the gap between the haves and the have-nots. The authors’ wisdom is at turns theological, historical, and practical—and always focused on what it means to live with faithful integrity in our contemporary global economy.

Table of Contents

1. Growing Up without Money—Clive’s Story
2. Growing Up with Money—Paul’s Story
3. Holy Money—a Brief History and Why It Is So Complicated to Handle
4. Giving to God and Caesar—the Complicated End of Dualism
5. Grappling Shrewdly with Capitalism
6. How to Buy Forever Friendships
7. Why Money “Talks”—the Social Value of Money
8. Whose Money Is It Anyway?
9. The Health and Wealth Gospel
10. Investing in Heaven
Questions for Reflection and Discussion

“Few people in the faith, work, and economics movement have been as influential as R. Paul Stevens. His books on the intersections of religious belief and economic activity are legendary, and they continue to inspire and challenge generations of Christians in the marketplace. Now, with coauthor Clive Lim, Stevens has ventured into new territory with Money Matters, a unique and fascinating look at the fruits of our labor. Beginning with their own life stories, the authors delve deeply into cultural and biblical narratives about wealth, toppling the idols of both unbridled capitalism and the ‘health and wealth gospel’ along the way. The fundamental thrust of the book may be their unabashed claim that money isn’t morally neutral and that God cares deeply about our relationship with it. Either way, for those wishing to put mammon in its proper place and deploy it for Kingdom purposes, this book is required reading and will no doubt become another classic in the faith, work, and economics space.”
— Kenneth J. Barnes
author of Redeeming Capitalism
“Paul Stevens and Clive Lim seek to engage readers in personal contemplation that enables them to view money ‘in its proper place and to behave with consistency in relation to the handling of money.’ They have achieved their purpose quite nicely. Every serious Christian should have a personal view of money, especially in the handling of it. Blending their differing experience and expertise (in terms of age, training, aptitude, upbringing, ethnicity, etc.), the authors are comfortable with each other, complementing each other as they canvass related issues and viewpoints from historical, contemporary, social, and theological angles. The topics are well-chosen and relevant. And the book is very readable; one can finish it either in a three-four-hour sitting or over several days, taking the time to study the issues raised more contemplatively, taking in the endnotes. Hence, there is something in this book for everyone!”
— Ho Peng Kee
former senior minister of state in Singapore
Money Matters is the most relevant and expansive discussion on money. Period. It is personal and deep, as Stevens and Lim share stories of decades of business experience with deep theological reflection. They show how our relationship with money permeates our identity, determines how we run our businesses and organizations, and reflects what we truly value. For a topic that is often confusing and overlooked, Money Matters offers clarity, hope, and a challenge to live our lives intentionally for the Kingdom in a way that is life changing and impactful. Who could imagine a book about money could be so inspiring?”
— Dave Hataj
author of Good Work: How Blue Collar Business Can Change Lives, Communities, and the World
“Positing that the ancient beginnings of money were in the temple rather than with the trader, and proposing the sacred use and not just the secular use of money, the authors have crafted a colorful mosaic of personal, historical, philosophical, and theological perspectives regarding this important dimension of life. In communities of faith that seek to live a world-formative rather than a world-denying Christianity, this book dealing with an important but often neglected topic should be discussed in every church small group.”
— Charles Ringma
author of Hear the Ancient Wisdom
“Through the heart is the deepest, truest way that we learn about things that matter most—and that is the great gift of this new book by Clive Lim and Paul Stevens, who together draw on the years of their lives to allow us to think more carefully and critically, and therefore more Christianly, about the meaning of money. From its first pages we are graced with their wisdom and experience born of rare biblical and theological insight integrally connected to cultural and historical perspectives, all twined together with decades of life in the world of work. In Money Matters, these master teachers address the most challenging questions and the most difficult issues, ones that serious people the world over wrestle with about money, and why it matters so much.”
— Steven Garber
author of The Seamless Life: A Tapestry of Love and Learning, Worship and Work
“Thinking Christianly about money is one of the more important, but also one of the more difficult challenges facing the followers of Christ today, in the East as well as in the West. By grounding their consideration of money in their own very different personal narratives—East and West—Lim and Stevens treat their readers with wisdom as well as any number of important insights into the ubiquitous role that money plays in our lives today.”
— Craig Gay
author of Modern Technology and the Human Future: A Christian Appraisal
Money Matters is a must read for those who are concerned with handling earthly wealth with the Kingdom of God in mind. By integrating biblical and theological foundations, it reminds us of the spiritual roots of money and our stewardship role in God’s plan, sparking our creativity to truly honor God with the use of money.”
— William Chen
chairman, Crown Financial Ministries, Hong Kong
“Paul and Clive, in their excellent treatise on money, have helped uncover fresh depths of biblical understanding on this age-old yet poorly understood subject. Their erudite scholarship makes for a solidly biblical exegesis on money. As the book reminds us, money is the barometer of the soul. Yet the pulpit pays scant attention to money other than the obvious subject of tithes and offerings. It is no wonder that many believers succumb to several fallacies: in particular, a dualism that dichotomizes the secular and the sacred. Paul and Clive convincingly demolish this divide that has distorted the Christian worldview. They also challenge the widely held notion that views money as neutral. The book is a much-needed resource to help believers capture a holistic understanding of money and dispels several fallacies on this important subject.”
— Georgie Lee
national president, Gatekeepers Singapore
“Like Clive, I grew up poor in Singapore, and like Paul, I lived in North America, for a time, and witnessed its affluence. What a treat to have both authors bringing together East and West with such contrasting worldviews to bear on such a controversial issue as money. Their experiences and insights, disciplined by a clear biblical perspective, give us valuable scrutiny of the cracks in dualism, capitalism, and, most of all, the prosperity gospel. While we cannot serve God and money, this book will open our minds and hearts to serve God with money.”
— David W. F. Wong
leadership mentor, Finishing Well Ministries
Publishers Weekly
“A strong introduction to the social history of money from a Christian perspective.”
The Living Church
“This short book will be a useful new tool for personal reflection as well as for stimulating conversations about reconciling the benefits and challenges of wealth and the dangers that an obsessive love of money creates.”