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Wealth and Piety

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Timothy C. Tennent, PhD

1. Introduction 

     Definition of Terms and Language
     You Can’t do Everything!

 2. The Righteous Rich in the Old Testament

     Abraham: Our Rich, Righteous Father
     Job: Permanently Righteous, Temporarily Rich
     Righteousness in Deuteronomy
     Wealth in Deuteronomy
     Wealth and the Commands
     The Proverbs
     The Unrighteous Rich and Amos

 3. The Righteous Rich in the New Testament

     Righteousness and Riches in the Sermon on the Mount
     The Acts of the Apostles and the Church in Jerusalem
     James and the Unrighteous Rich
     The Righteous Rich in 1 Timothy
     Introducing the Interviewees

4. The Righteous (Rich) and Teaching Morality to Children

     Teaching Children Morality
     The Importance of Child-rearing
     Economic Piety: What and How Do Families Teach?
     Middle Eastern Child-rearing, Wealth, Piety, and the Bible
     Teaching Children Morality in Practice

5. Praising God and Acknowledging His Sovereignty
     Praise, Sovereignty, and the Bible
     Praise and God’s Sovereignty in Practice

6. Generosity
     Giving to God
     Generosity to Family
     Helping the Poor
     Giving and the Honor of the Recipient
     Class and Generosity
     Motives for Giving
     Giving and the Wider Causes of Poverty
     Generosity and the Bible
     Giving in Practice

7. Money: Where Did it Come From?

     The Source of Wealth and the Bible
     The Sources of Wealth in Practice

8. Appearances
     The Appearance of Lesser Wealth
     The Appearance of Greater Wealth
     Appearances and the Bible
     Appearances in Practice

9. Friendship between Rich and Poor
     Barriers to Friendship between Rich and Poor
     Possibilities of Friendship
     What the Poor Want from the Rich
     The Bible and Friendship Between Rich and Poor
     Friendship in Practice

10. Patrons and Clients
     An Introduction to the Patron-Client System
     The Relationship Between Patrons and Clients
     Advantages of Patronage
     Disadvantages of Patronage
     The Righteous Patron
     Men of Religion and Patronage
     Patronage and the Bible
     Patronage in Practice



Wealth and Piety
Middle Eastern Perspectives for Expat Workers
Karen L. H. Shaw (Author)
They think you're rich. Do they think you're godly?

Your supporters consider you saintly and self-sacrificing. Your Middle Eastern friends might beg to differ. So might God. Wealth and Piety explores biblical and Arab cultural expectations for getting, using, talking about, and giving money. This book contains hundreds of verbatim observations about local and foreign wealth by thirty-five Middle Easterners from nine countries, representing all major religious groups. These comments are a mirror in which workers can see their own status and moral reputation as people of the region see them. Combining biblical commentary, cultural analysis and practical advice for expats, Wealth and Piety is designed for both new and experienced workers, as well as mission leaders, administrators, supporters, and donors. Although focused on the Middle East, much of the wisdom of this book is valuable for workers anywhere in the Muslim world or in societies characterized by patronage or an honor/shame orientation.


  • Warning: This book could change  your life. Can  a comfortable person and a poor person be friends? What do Middle Easterners think about that? What does the Bible teach? Rich and surprising findings, with  practical  applications,  drawing  on thirty  interviews and  a  lifetime  of   relationships.  Thought-provoking  and  maybe game-changing. Read at your own risk!
    Miriam Adeney, PhDassociate professor of World Christian Studies, Seattle Pacific University author, Daughters of  Islam: Building Bridges with Muslim  Women
  • Karen Shaw has done a great service not only to expatriate workers but to us as national Christian leaders who are also often perceived, in times of crisis, as having “outside resources” to fall back on which the “normal” national Christian does not have! “Faith”  takes on a different dimension  in  those who only have God to fall back on! May this book contribute to a deeper understanding of the relation between Christian faith, wealth, and true piety!
    Ramez Atallahgeneral director, The Bible Society of Egypt
  • Karen Shaw’s timely teaching should be carefully studied, discussed, and  implemented  by  we  believers  whose  natural  inclinations— supported and sustained by our society’s self-serving interests and its  demonstrable  capacity   for  self-deception—have  been  lulled into being mere hearers of God’s word on mammon, but not doers, deceiving our own selves. I will read and recommend this small book again and again.
    Jonathan J. Bonk, PhDresearch professor of mission, Boston University author, Missions and Money: Affluence as a Western Missionary Problem
  • This book is a timely contribution  to the missiological literature on wealth and righteousness in a cross-cultural context. It is also a practical guide for effective mission in the Middle-East: Perceptions do matter  even when one’s own Western culture says otherwise. Dr. Shaw  has earned the right to share these valuable insights as she has been immersed in Lebanese and Middle Eastern culture for many years.
    Nabil CostaCEO of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development
  • Do you want to honor Christ with your money? Read this book! Do you not want  to honor Christ with your money? Even more urgently, read this book! The biblical exploration of what it means to be both rich and righteous will open your heart and your purse. The insights from the Middle East will give you a fresh perspective on your own culture and its handling of money, and will also shed even more light on the Bible. Wherever you live in the world, read this book!
    Ida Glaserdirector emerita and international academic coordinator of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford
  • This is one of the most important books on money, morality, and the Christian spiritual life ever written. Its insight into Middle Eastern perspectives  is  especially  valuable.  Karen  Shaw  helps  us  delve deeply into biblical perspectives, then offers us an astonishing range of  Middle Eastern  wisdom on wealth  and  piety,  and  associated themes such as patronage, generosity, hospitality, appearance, God’s sovereignty, relationships between rich and poor, spiritual friendship, and family life. The book is a wonder, and one that I will consult regularly and treasure.
    Graham Hill, PhDauthor, GlobalChurch
  • This is a book that will open your eyes on new insights on wealth and piety, allowing the Bible to speak to our daily life. Dr. Shaw challenges the reader through sharing life stories from the Middle East and offering practical advice. When you think about money inthe life of the church, this book is a great resource.
    Rev. Najla Kassabpresident of the World Communion of Reformed Churches
  • Wealth and Piety leads us through one of the most profound and complex aspects of life and witness in the Middle East. Karen’s mix of careful listening, probing questions, biblical reflection and gentle yet insightful critique is the fruit of many years in the region, and models exactly what we look for in cross-cultural workers. This will be high on our list of reading both for those who come and those who prepare them.
    Canon Mike ParkerSIM Middle East Director SIM Middle East (formerly MECO)
  • Starting from a Biblical survey of the “righteous rich,” Dr. Shaw leads us into a conversation with Middle Easterners around this very subject. The unique opportunity she gives us for reflection and then self-reflection is invaluable. A must read for not only the newly arrived expatriate but also for those with decades of experience. I only wish this book had been available when I first moved to the Middle East.
    Grant Porter, PhDprogram director, Cornerstone Trust long-term resident of the Middle East

Additional Details

  • Pages: 214
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2018
  • ISBN: 9780878080793
  • Vendor: William Carey Library