Karen Spears Zacharias has written a number of books, each of which I want to read. I finally did get around to reading my first, her latest, Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?. I really like this book for a number of reasons.
First of all, Karen is a good story teller. She lets people tell their stories, and she describes them as well. Her skill in journalism shines through. And you really get the sense of meeting these people.
Also there is good diversity within the theme of Karen’s book. The theme is actually about how the desire for monetary and material wealth can take over people’s lives, even becoming a large part of their faith. But the theme includes how others live in contrast to that. Living in a world where money does matter, but with an eye to do good with what they do have, while trusting God to meet their needs. And the book includes people who are moving along on this journey, maybe close to where we are, but are seriously grappling with these issues.
One meets a variety of people in this fast moving, page turning book. Rich and poor, those who have faith and those with little or none, those who believe God for material wealth, and those who believe wealth is more than material. Almost any sort of person you can imagine is covered in one of the nineteen people’s story. We get a rather full glimpse of American society in relation to money. But more than that, we get down to earth people who struggle just like you and I.
This book hits on nearly every angle imaginable of special interest during the current economical downturn. But always important in life. From the greed of Wall Street to the struggle on Main Street, from the one who turns their back on wealth to serve God in a jungle, to those who get rich off of people in the name of the Lord.
And Karen has strong words of her own to say in a few places in the book. Against the prosperity gospel which flies in the face of not only reality, but the pages of Scripture and of Jesus’ life. Against the American sense of entitlement, seeing this in contrast to so many in the world who barely (or not) have enough to live on. This book does not make one think being wealthy is sinful, or being poor is a virtue. Nor does one finish the book thinking they’ve been taken on a political ride. It neither came across as left or right (nor center, for that matter), but kingdom of God in Jesus in its orientation. Even with the strong words, there really is a graciousness to the book, not the harshness we’re all too accustomed to nowadays.
I know I want to read this book again. And get others to read it. Will you be one of them? You won’t be sorry if you do.