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New book about neotraditional approaches to the economy: God’s Economy: Redefining the Health & Wealth Gospel

From the publisher:

About: God’s Economy: Redefining the Health & Wealth Gospel. By Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Zondervan, 2009

In , God’s Economy: Redefining the Health & Wealth Gospel (Zondervan, 2009). Wilson-Hartgrove delivers an often uncomfortable, sometimes shocking and altogether redemptive message about living in a God-centered and others-centered economy. Readers will be challenged by his fresh, radical approach taken from Jesus’ teachings thousands of years ago.

Author and scholar, Eugene Peterson writes in the foreword, “The compelling element in these pages is the author’s detailed immersion in the generosity of a way of life that develops when money is dethroned from the controlling center of our lives, and the community is taken seriously…Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a bearing witness; he has been living for years what he now writes. Trust him. I trust him.”

Wilson-Hartgrove really does walk his talk. He calls “The Rutba House” his home – a monastic community that prays, eats and lives together. And he goes one step further – Wilson-Hartgrove, along with his wife, son and other members of the community, take in the homeless and thereby punctuate and live out the statement he makes in God’s Economy that, “The whole story of Scripture seems to say that God’s party isn’t finished until all his children are gathered around the table, breaking the bread we have, passing the pieces to one another and living the beloved community that is communion with our Lord.”

Needless to say, Wilson-Hartgrove is not rallying for today’s prosperity preachers. However, he respectfully disagrees, saying, “Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes are right about one thing: our God of abundance does want to give you your best life now. It’s just that God’s abundance is more radical than many of us have dared to dream. We sell ourselves short if we think the joy of the Lord can be captured in a cosmetically whitened smile.” Wilson-Hartgrove’s desire is for readers to experience the deepest form of abundance – and it doesn’t come in the form of a Bentley or six-figure paycheck.

God’s economy is based on five tactics taken from Jesus’ own teachings: service, eternal investments, economic friendship, relational generosity and living under occupation. Wilson-Hartgrove delves into each with passionate zeal, relaying personal experiences and stories that cause even the most skeptical of readers to acknowledge that God’s economy, where “the poor find bread and the rich find healing because we rediscover one another as friends,” may be worth a lot more than what its initial value seems to be.

Acting as a spokesperson for the poor and disenfranchised, his voice is often startling, making statements like “Don’t let the CEOs shape your dreams, Jesus says. Instead, learn from the restaurant waiters and migrant workers.” Wilson-Hartgrove’s insights, however, may make readers find that their tithed, pay-checked, seemingly abundant lives could use an economic upheavel, God-style.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a graduate of Eastern University and Duke Divinity School. An associate minister at the historically black St. Johns Baptist Church, Jonathan is engaged in peacemaking and reconciliation efforts in Durham, North Carolina, and directs the School for Conversion (newmonasticism.org), an alternative seminary that hosts courses around the country. He is a sought-after speaker and the author of several books including New Monasticism. The Rutba House, where Jonathan lives with his wife, Leah, their son, JaiMichael, and other friends, is a new monastic community that prays, eats, and lives together, welcoming neighbors and the homeless (jonathanwilsonhartgrove.com).

About God’s Economy
God’s Economy: Redefining the Health & Wealth Gospel
By Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
224 Pages
PUB DATE: January 2009

About Zondervan

Zondervan is the world's leading Christian publisher of books whose authors are noted for their excellence in the craft of writing as well as their worthy contribution to the ongoing global evangelical conversation. The works published by Zondervan not only confirm readers' faith and understanding, they also challenge and stretch readers' thinking. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general, ministry, and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan publishes bestselling books, audio, video, curriculum, software, and digital products in such categories as biblical languages and studies, biography, business, contemporary issues, counseling, cultural, devotional, evangelism, family, fiction, history, inspiration, leadership, ministry, pastoral, personal development, prayer, philosophy, reference, relationships, textbooks, theology, youth and more. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online, and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan Books on the Internet at www.zondervan.com/books.

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