INTRODUCTION to Essay, Tithing is Not a Christian Doctrine
The essay is a summary of my book, Should the Church Teach Tithing? A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine. The book itself is a greatly expanded version of my Ph. D. thesis. I encourage Bible educators to be bold, to open up seminary level research and to promote studies on this subject in the Masters, Doctorate and Ph. D. levels. This doctrine is simply too important to ignore.
In many churches today the doctrine of tithing has reached the level of a modern scandal. While on the one hand, most seminary-level textbooks on systematic theology and hermeneutics by highly educated theologians omit tithing, on the other hand, the practice is quickly becoming a requirement for church membership in the very denominations which insist on solid Bible-based doctrines. There is also increasing evidence that lay persons who question the legitimacy of New Covenant tithing are usually criticized and ignored as being troublemakers or weak Christians. Sincere Christian leaders should always be open and available to discuss God’s Word. Failure to do suggests doubt and insecurity. More “holy boldness” is needed.