There is much in Generous Justice by Tim Keller that is worthy of comment. It is not a comfortable read, but it is compelling.
As a teacher of preachers I was particularly struck by the irreducible logic of the Murray McCheyne sermon from which he quotes (on p108). They just don’t make preachers like this any more! Read and savour:
Now, dear Christians, some of you pray night and day to be branches of the true Vine; you pray to be made all over in the image of Christ. If so, you must be like him in giving… “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”…
Objection 1: “My money is my own.”
Answer: Christ might have said, “My blood is my own, my life is my own”… then where should we have been?
Objection 2: “The poor are undeserving.”
Answer: Christ might have said, “They are wicked rebels, shall I lay down my life for these? I will give to the good angels.” But no, he left the ninety-nine, and came after the lost. He gave his blood for the undeserving.
Objection 3: “The poor may abuse it.”
Answer: Christ might have said the same; yea, with far greater truth. Christ knew that thousands would trample his blood under their feet; that most would despise it; that many would make it an excuse for sinning more; yet gave his own blood.
Oh dear Christians! If you would be like Christ, give much more, give often, give freely, to the vile and the poor, the thankless and the undeserving. Christ is glorious and happy and so will you be.
It is not your money I want, but your happiness. Remember his own words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”
Sermons of Murray McCheyne (Edinburgh 1848)