The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth

Eerdmans, 2007
ISBN: 9780802833631


How should Christians live in a material world? Should personal guilt accompany financial success? Is wealth incompatible with true Christianity? In The Good of Affluence John R. Schneider reopens the debate over the proper Christian attitude toward money, arguing that Scripture supports the responsible possession of wealth.

This is a provocative book of Christian theology, written to help people seeking God in a culture that has grown from modern capitalism. By comparing classic Christian teaching on wealth with the realities of our modern economic world, Schneider challenges the common presumption that material affluence is inherently bad. His careful interpretation of Scripture narratives—creation, exodus, exile, and more—shows that abundance is the condition that God envisions for all human beings and that faithful persons of wealth are part of this plan.

Through insightful engagement with the biblical text Schneider overturns some of the most cherished and unquestioned assumptions of influential Christian writers (particularly Ronald Sider) on modern capitalist affluence. Yet Schneider’s message is also finely balanced with the need for responsible Christian living. He offers wealthy Christians biblical affirmation, but also challenges them to a life shaped by an uncommon sense of stewardship, generosity, and compassion.

Incisive, thought-provoking, and biblically grounded, The Good of Affluence is a superb resource for anyone—students, professors, businesspeople, general readers, discussion groups—wishing to grapple seriously with the subject of faith and wealth.

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Key Features

  • Compares classic Christian teaching on wealth with modern economics
  • Evaluates assumptions of popular critics of capitalist affluence
  • Demonstrates how wealthy individuals fit into God’s redemptive plan


  • The “New” Culture of Capitalism
  • Genesis: The Cosmic Vision of Delight
  • The Exodus: Land of Liberation and Delight
  • The Prophets and Wisdom: Economic Life Is Eternal Life
  • The Incarnation and Economic Identity
  • The Radical Jesus as the Lord of Delight
  • Parables of Affluence
  • Narratives of Wealth in the Early Church
  • Epilogue: Being Affluent in a World of Poverty

Product Details

  • Title: The Good of Affluence: Seeking God in a Culture of Wealth
  • Author: John R. Schneider
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 243
  • Christian Group: Evangelicals
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Christian Living

About John R. Schneider

John R. Schneider is professor emeritus of religion and theology at Calvin College. He was formerly professor of religious studies at Westmont College, California. He has written widely on Christianity and wealth, and is the author of Philip Melanchthon’s Rhetorical Construal of Biblical Authority and Godly Materialism: Rethinking Money and Possessions.

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