Recently, I found a new book. I can’t remember where I heard about it and I don’t remember when, but I came across this book, Economy of Love: Creating a Community of Enough. The premise of the book isn’t easily understood as its not your typical book. It goes with a series of videos. The chapters, or sections, of the book are transcripts for the videos with Shane Claiborne, the founder of The Simple Way, a group that connects others of radical Christianity (what other kind of Christianity should there be?!). Now, I am a fan of Claiborne’s. He stands for something and he doesn’t back down. He’s also about nonviolence and about caring for the poor.
Now, this book, or better yet, this guide is about understanding what is enough. Now, this is an interesting idea. We try to teach our children what is enough, we don’t want to spoil them. But are we really in any place to tell our children what is enough? We have more than enough on a regular basis. I don’t need my Starbucks coffee each morning on my way to class, I don’t need the fair-trade dark chocolate in my cabinets. For that matter, I don’t need my two dogs, I spend money on them that could go to help a starving child… I’m not giving up my dogs but what i am saying is that we have MORE than enough on a regular basis. As we speak I’m sitting here with 2 laptops; one for home and for large files and programs, and a smaller mini netbook that I can take with me to do my writing and a small hard rive to go between the two of them. I have the synced together so I can access the files on the larger computer from the smaller one whenever I am somewhere else. This is something I am privileged to have. I don’t deserve this. I have enough.
Another thing that this book focuses on is tithing. Now, people don’t really tithe any more. I once said “tithes and offering” while in a church service and I was informed that no one tithes any more. Tithing is giving a regular amount of money from what you have (usually around 10%) to the church or an organization. It’s harder than people really think. I’ve tried it and I’m pretty bad at it, but it’s something you have to keep working at. Praxis, you have to keep doing it and practice it to get better at doing it.
So, how do we create enough through out tithing? That’s what this book is trying to teach you. It was somewhat of an experiment done, but it’s grown; its grown into something greater, something that is a way of life. A means of connections and relationships between people all over. People are held accountable and there is trust, something not quickly found in today’s world. It’s brought to you through Relational Tithe.
Now, this book is meant to be read along with the videos that Shane is in but you don’t have to do it this way. It’s still a worthy read either way. Would I recommend it? Yes. Get it, read it, and try to see if you can do it.