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Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don't Give Away More Money
'Passing the Plate' shows that few American Christians donate generously to religious and charitable causes - a parsimony that seriously undermines the work of churches and ministries. This book explores the reasons behind such ungenerous giving.
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published September 29th 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published August 27th 2008)
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My first interlibrary loan! And I am glad I did not purchase the book. I am not used to reading books with so many statistics, so it was hard to wade through at points. However, I learned a lot through the reading of this book. If all people who claim to attend church at least twice a month or that their faith is extremely important to them tithed there would be $120 billion annually. Holy cow - I can't even begin to fathom that number or imagine how much good could be done with the money. Also, ...more
Wow. This is a book that pulls no punches, and contains no fat. Half of it is text, the other half supporting appendices filled with data. Some of this stuff will shock you, some will outrage you, some will make you weep. But it was tragically gripping all throughout, although with clear advice for churches charting out their future.
I’ve grown a bit cold on statistically-based books-- or at least on ones presented like this one, where the bulk of the content is the statistical data itself. Still, this is an interesting book, and it is worth getting simply for the opening chapter, in which the writers dream of what the church could do if we only gave a bit more.
Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. Smith's research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture.More about Christian Smith...