Tim Keller on Tithing

Dr. Keller puts my view in a nutshell: “A perennial question is, though believers in the Old Testament were required to tithe their income, are New Testament Christians so required? The principle we have been using – that the coming of Christ changes Old Testament laws, yet they still have some abiding validity – holds true for tithing. In Luke 11:42, Jesus chastises the Pharisees for ‘tithing your garden herbs…but neglecting justice and the love of God.’ That is, they were diligent to tithe their income, but they were exploitative in their business dealings and unjust in their relationships. Then Jesus adds, ‘You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.’ In other words, Jesus affirms tithing, but says that by itself it is not enough. Put another way, for a Christian, tithing is a minimum standard for generosity and doing justice. Christian believers are not less indebted to and blessed by God than Old Testament believers were. Therefore we should not imagine that God’s standards for generosity would be lower for New Testament Christians than for Old Testament believers. ‘To whom much is given, much shall be required’ (Luke 12:48).” — from Generous Justice, footnote 34 on page 196-197.

The standard for the Christian’s giving is the sacrificial-giving of the Lord Jesus Christ – II Cor. 8:9.

SDG,
Ezra

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