Anastasios Kioulachoglou’s first work, entitled Tithing, Giving and
the New Testament, delves into the concept of Christian giving and
debates the practice of tithing – an Old Covenant practice – and its
place among born-again Christians.
Ah, money. It never fails to be a touchy subject, does it? Yet Kioulachoglou, an economist by profession, has no qualms about it. In his raw, incisive style, the Greek author states exactly what the New Testament has to say about money and its stewardship; to that effect, he starts his first book by addressing one of the most well-known practices present in modern-day church – tithing.
Backed by an impressive number of biblical passages, Kioulachoglou concludes that tithing is a part of the Mosaic Law circumscribed to the people to whom the Law was given – the Jews, the people of the Old Covenant – and that a parallel of such practice is not to be imposed on people who are outside the Law, i. e. Christians. Instead of considering whether they should give 10% of their earnings before or after taxes, Christians should be mindful of what the New Testament really calls for: gracious and willing giving. The author goes on to present various examples of what genuine giving is all about in the New Testament; this is giving that blesses, that is voluntary, and that does not necessarily come in the form of material possessions.
Kioulachoglou also spends a chunk of his work in addressing the reality of modern-day church finances, providing his input as inferred from the biblical teachings of the NT in the role of Christians supporting church staff salaries, missionaries and widows. He condemns the form of financial stewardship so prevalent in our days: “Why do we take what would normally go to the poor saints and to missions to further the kingdom of God and give it to maintain structures and traditions that are foreign to the Word of God?” (p. 71) He challenges the reader to “ask the tough questions,” yet to do so in love and with the sincere desire of improving the body of Christ.
Tithing, Giving and the New Testament is a brief yet powerful work. It succeeds in showing God’s pleasure in genuine giving by challenging a long-held (and misunderstood) church tradition. Just like Kioulachoglou’s
second book, The Warnings of the New Testament, this work is currently available as a free PDF on the Journal
of Biblical Accuracy website, while its eBook and printed versions can be purchased on Amazon.
BY DANIEL GOMES
TITHING IN TOUGH TOPICS
Sam Storms’ final “tough topic” in his
first “Tough Topics” book happens to
be tithing. Here, for a change, Storms
and Kioulachoglou seem to be on the
same side of the debate: both agree
that tithing cannot be demanded
from the Christian. Nevertheless, Storms
advocates that tithing as a voluntary
practice of the believer does have
its place on today’s Church, so long as
it respects God’s standards of genuine
giving. The theologian goes on to defend
that Christians have a responsibility
to “be generous with their wealth”
(p. 319), yet he acknowledges that
such responsibility cannot be undertaken
grudgingly or with guilt, which
follows along Kioulachoglou’s affirmation
of true giving as gracious and voluntary.