A faith-based approach to responsible financial behavior.
In this debut personal finance book, Kesler draws on both his experience as a community bank executive and his role as a lay leader in Christian churches to offer readers a biblical perspective on earning, accumulating and using money. Kesler calls his framework “stewardship theology,” distinguishing it from the more well-known health and prosperity gospel. The book encourages readers to determine their strengths and their callings and understand that, while some people are called to lives of service, there is nothing wrong if the most effective way to serve both faith and humanity is by building wealth ethically, contributing to an improved standard of living and giving back to the community. The guide covers standard components of secular personal finance books, from creating a budget to understanding interest rates, but it also includes Bible verses that support the book’s interpretation of stewardship as a responsible financial practice. Kesler shares anecdotes from his own experience, from reconciling his work with his religious beliefs (“My banking career was not only salvaged, I was now convinced it was a sacred calling, even an act of loving my neighbor because of the good that occurs when resources are productively allocated”) to the techniques he and his wife use for managing family finances. While much of the advice is uncontroversial, statements like “There is in essence no difference between trying to hold down the grocery bill and the president of Boeing trying to locate a new production plant in a lower cost state or country” are unlikely to convince skeptics that stewardship can be reconciled with social justice. Although the book may not be persuasive to outsiders, it’s effectively pitched at its target audience of individuals looking to combine Christian faith with responsible personal finance, and the format, with discussion questions following each chapter, makes the book a good fit for church groups.
A theological interpretation of ethical and effective finance.