Thursday, July 01, 2010

Interview with Jeff Weddle

As a sort of wrap-up to reviews and interviews on Jeff Weddle's new book, The Gospel-Filled Wallet, I'm including my own interview with Jeff here (Full disclosure: I'm both editor and publisher of Jeff's book through Transforming Publishing). You can read more about the book, as well as more of Jeff's writings on discipleship and money, at his blog.

1. What type of reader is The Gospel-Filled Wallet written for?

For any professed Christian.

2. What prompted you to write the book?

My reading of Scripture coupled with seeing several people die and moving many living people from one house to another. These experiences have made an impact on me. Something was off, so I began examining all my stuff as well. I realized that my experience confirmed Scripture and the Scriptures confirmed my experience: we are to live for heaven; not earth.

3. The first chapter of your book is titled, "I Think I Hate God." Do you really hate God?

The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, so you cannot do those things you want to do. The flesh and the Spirit war at each other and they don't do it because they love each other. I do not hate God, but my flesh nature does, and my flesh nature has its moments in my life.

4. This question has to do as much with my work as an editor and publisher as with yours as an author. Some reviewers of TGFW have taken issue with certain points in your book, particularly your treatment of the OT and your interpretation of loving God or money. In preparing your book for publication, I assumed you had anticipated these criticisms and were prepared for them. Was that the case, or were you surprised by readers' reactions?

I did not go into much detail on my views of the Old Testament in regards to money because it would involve detailing my understanding of Israel and the Church. I chose to skip that and stick with the main point. However, you can figure out my view if you look for it! It did not surprise me that it came up.

I anticipated critiques of my interpretation of "you cannot serve God and mammon." I don’t like it either, but I hesitate to dismiss it too quickly. I think the simple, literal meaning works quite well with all that is said in Scripture since Christ said it.

5. How have your views on money changed, if any, since you originally wrote TGFW?

My views changed, or were solidified, while writing this book. I was more affirmed to give to those who need it, more willing to not spend my money on me, more willing to stop accumulating stuff my wife will have to move when I die, etc.

6. Now that your book is out there, what do you hope to accomplish through its publication?

My initial goal in doing this study and writing it up was to find out what the Christian's responsibility is in regard to money. It was originally intended for me. My hope now is that I will be able to help others consider this matter. I also hope to show how the Gospel is practically lived out in how we use our money. He gave up heaven to suffer for a time here, that we who suffer here might go to heaven. This Gospel example should drive our spending.

7. Any final words?

I would like to thank you, Milton, for publishing this book. I would like to thank all the reviewers for their time and their responses. I would also like to encourage people to consider carefully their attachments to the world. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Lay hold of eternal life.


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