Missions and Money: Affluence As a Western Missionary Problem (American Society of Missiology Series) I say “American money” because as a Canadian I get to think it’s somebody else’s problem. Oh, did I say that out loud? Oops.

I blogged about money a while back when discussing the $Trillion that churches collected for domestic uses over 20 years. Now Ben Witherington lists some stats on “Money and the Church.”

Hey, there’s simply no way to list these in a way that looks good. btw, I nabbed the book link because of the graphic and because it’s on-point, but I also have to highly recommend the book. Jon Bonk significantly influenced my thinking on missions and on money back during my college years when I was privileged to be one of his students. He taught a course called something like “Doing Missions out of Affluence…. something, something, something…” It was a long title that was commonly supplanted as the course was referred to around the college as simply “Rich Man, Poor Man.” (One of his other courses was renamed “Fred” by all concerned because the real name was simply too long.) The “Rich Man, Poor Man” course would seriously ruin people… you simply could not do the course without having it change you. I remember standing in a lunch line at Urbana 87 and overhearing the guys behind me talking about a missions author and professor who was saying some radical things about the use of wealth. When they mentioned the name of Jon Bonk, I turned around and told them I was taking courses with him, and proceeded to unload a bunch of ideas from class. They were taking it pretty hard, one of them in particular — turns out he was in pre-med.

Okay, digression over. Take a look at the stats Witherington cites and if you want to think through the problems associated with being an affluent western missionary trying to reach into a third-world culture with the gospel… go ahead, click the book image and buy it. Read it, even… but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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