Who are the Most Influential Voices in Christian Finance?

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He asked me, “Who are currently the most influential voices in Christian finance?”

I was having dinner with some friends and met someone who asked me the question above.  I gave an answer, but in the end I wondered if I’m the worst person in the world to answer that question.

I’ve been living in a cave of sorts.

It’s not a literal cave, but I’ve lived outside of the North American thinking bubble.

I have no TV at my house (I have a TV, I just don’t get any channels).  I’ve only bought a couple of newspapers in the last year.

So I’m pretty much in my dark cave away from the current trends of North American life.

I get my news from three sources:

  1. Twitter – I don’t post much on Twitter, but I am on Twitter.  However, I read what people write on Twitter.  That’s how I heard about Osama.
  2. Facebook – People tend to talk about the news, so I pick up the most important bits there.
  3. Google – When I hear about something newsworthy from either of the above sources, I may Google it to get more information.  The two most recent events that I Googled included the death of Osama and the Japan tsunami.

This means my material below might be out of date by two years.  It’ll be interesting to see how things have shifted over the last couple of years while I’ve been out of North America.

Folks who are influencing Christian financial thoughts

1. Dave Ramsey

More and more churches are offering Ramsey related projects.  I think Dave Ramsey is a business genius, a very generous man, and offers some great insights to help people develop a healthy view of money.  I think he is fulfilling his God-given calling.

However, I strongly believe that the Christian community also needs another voice.  A voice that embraces the countercultural hard sayings of Jesus.  The result is that Christians would develop a more balanced view of money.

2.  Crown Financial Ministries

I think there was a time when Crown was the most influential voice, but I think Ramsey is playing that role now.

Crown offers very solid Biblical advice.  They are the largest organization that approaches the topic of Christian finance.

3.  Randy Alcorn

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve not read anything he’s written.  I’ve typically only read things that I find in a second hand store.  Over the next few months I may need to break down and order one.  :)

4.  Ron Blue

I’ve heard Ron on the radio and read one of his books.  He seems like a very humble person with a lot of wisdom.

But this list is the ‘establishment’.  When you have a group of people who become the voice – there is always a countermovement.  There is always a fresh voice.

Christian Finance Blogs ??

Interestingly, the number of Christian finance blogs has skyrocketed in the last few years.  The first and most influential blog in this niche is Christianpf.com.  The next blog to break into the field was Bible Money Matters.  Around the time this blog started, there were a half dozen Christian finance blogs.  By now, there are probably close to 15 Christian personal finance blogs.

Unfortunately, blogs typically provide a lot of unrelated articles, and it’s hard to really know a person’s stance on the topic of Bible and money.  Thus, while there are a lot of good blogs, I’m not sure they are creating any sort of a “voice” of influence.

Now you tell me!  Who do you listen to?

The real reason for this article is that I’ll have some extra time for reading over these next few months.  I believe when you learn what the influential voices are saying, you can learn what people are typically thinking about a given topic. I’m wondering who, or what I should be reading.

  • What names did I miss from the list above?
  • Who’s got your ear?
  • Who’s writing or talking that’s helping you make sense of the Bible and money?
  • What names keep popping up?


  1. Bill says

    I hear Dave Ramsey a lot and don’t really disagree with much he has to say. However, Crown is where I get my information to depend on. I think that they are having money issues (based on their letters and emails.) I suppose that the economy has had an effect on their model. (Blue and Alcorn aren’t really on my radar.)

    I also read many financial blogs and I agree that it is sometimes hard to distinguish between those that are supposedly bible base and all the others.

    Keep up the good work you do….

    • says

      Thanks for the comment. I haven’t heard about financial issues with Crown. I’ll have to look into it.
      I appreciate your kind words.

      • says

        I too used to be a tried and true follower of Crown. After leaving their staff, many of my friends are now with Compass founded by Howard Dayton, so I tend to keep up with his work. I’m also personally in the financial ministry, so I read everything that Larry Burkett ever wrote and re-read and re-read! Plus Howard, Ron Blue, Randy Alcorn, and Dave Ramsey. I think my favorite is of course Larry! And it’s exciting for me to now begin forging my own way in the Biblical Financial world.

        • says

          Thanks for passing alone some reading suggestions. This post taught me I have a lot of books to read! Larry Burkett was the first person who introduced me to this topic of Christian finances and continues to be an inspiration to me.

  2. Mark says

    “I strongly believe that the Christian community also needs another voice. A voice that embraces the countercultural hard sayings of Jesus.”

    Randy Alcorn’s the man. He truly demonstrates obedience to Christ, not just in money, but in all areas of his life.

    • anon says

      I suspect that Bill Yinaire is a false apostle. Why? He promotes the prosperity gospel, which is “another gospel” and not the true gospel of Jesus Christ. He promotes the same word-of-faith techniques in order to become rich that false apotles such as Fred Price teach. They are deceived and promoting a false gospel. Bill Yinaire gave himself that name……apparently modeled on Abrahams name change. Only difference is that Abraham didn’t change his won name, God gave him a new name. Some more warning signs about his ministry (AMI – Apostolic Movement International): 1) don’t you find it strange that so many family members are prophets and apostles? Where in the bible are all the members of one family apostles and prophets? 2) WHen you join their school, you can only be ordained a prophet or apostle by them. Gee whizz, I wonder what are the chances for deception in that? 3) They are constantly promoting their products (if you ask them a question they won’t give you a direct answer, they will tell you to buy their book to get the answer) and if you study through them you are not allowed to use any material except theirs and you are not allowed to question their ministry. I think they promote their products so much because that’s is how they make their living. 4)

      Our highest ministry example will always be Jesus Christ. Jesus and His disciples NEVER focused on wealth attainment as part of their ministry. they never went around teaching people how to become rich. Their ministry in the gospels and the book of acts focused on spreading the good news, healing, and setting the captives free.Jesus clearly told them what their commission was to be about and what they were supposed to do.

      Be careful that you do not get stuck in the desert worshipping the golden calf instead of the true God.

  3. says

    Craig – I started serving in the Good $ense ministry, founded at Willow Creek, back in 1990. That ministry has had a huge impact, although it has slipped off the radar screen in recent years. It’s too bad because it still has some great resources, including the fairly new Raising Financially Freed-Up Kids http://www.willowcreek.com/wca_prodsb.asp?invtid=PR34724&f=x

    Ron Blue’s book, Master Your Money was the first Christian personal finance book I read. Ron is continuing to have a great impact through Kingdom Advisors, an organization for Christian financial advisors.

    Randy Alcorn’s book, Money, Possessions and Eternity is considered the dissertation on biblical money management. His book, The Treasure Principle, is based on MPE and is an excellent book on biblical generosity.

    It pains me to say this, but I do not think Ramsey’s strength is teaching biblical principles of money. He’s a fantastic teacher. I just don’t think he’s all that strong on biblical principles. For example, in his 7 baby steps, for which he is famous, generosity if covered last. Not exactly a firstfruits approach. He’s extremely popular, and I think he’s helping a lot of people. But again, in my opinion, it’s not really solid biblical teaching.

    Crown is still doing a great job, and Howard Dayton has a relatively new ministry called Compass.

    Then there are several really good Christian personal finance bloggers. As was mentioned, ChristianPF and BibleMoneyMatters are the two top ones. Without intending any false flattery, I think you do a great job.

    And, my work is all Bible based as well, with the first post of the month specifically focused on a verse of Scripture related to money. All of the rest of the posts are practical teaching viewed through a biblical filter.

    • says

      Wow. Thanks for such a full and comprehensive response. I looks like I have some more homework to do.

      I completely agree with your comments regarding Ramsey.

      I have just recently heard of Compass and look forward to learning more about their work.

      Yes, you do have a good resource that can be found at mattaboutmoney.com (I know you know that, but I wanted to add a link for those who are reading the comments).

  4. Devin says

    I’ve never been a Dave Ramsey fan. This guy is always self promoting. He’s a pompous windbag to boot.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do think he has a valuable contribution to make to the discussion, but I also think we should look for someone with a stronger Biblical emphasis.

  5. says

    Great post. I first learned about Bibilcal Finance from Crown’s Ministry in the late 1900s. The first book I read was “Your Money Counts” by Howard Dayton. Like many others here, the first Christian blog that I encountered was Christianpf.com in 2009. It’s the best. What you have posted on your site is good as well. I am paying attention to Gary Keesee, “Fixing the Money Thing” and I listen to prosperity teachers, like Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. I am delighted that genre is growing. I’ll be adding my voice to soon.

  6. says

    Hey Craig – great summary of these sources. I would also put Christian PF on the top as one of the most influential blogs I’ve read.

    I started listening to Ramsey in college and still think he’s one of the best get out of debt motivators out there today. I don’t agree with everything, but I admire his ability to keep people motivated.

    I would definitely include your blog as one of the top dogs in Christian finance. Keep up the great articles!

  7. Jason says

    I would agree with Matt Bell’s comments regarding Ramsey. I agree he is a good motivator for getting people out of debt, but I don’t necessarily believe his overall approach (beyond debt) is biblical. I’m concerned the focus on “building wealth like crazy” just shifts someone’s idolatry from stuff bought on credit to an idolatry of wealth. Both are wrong biblically and both diminish the gospel. The heart issue hasn’t been solved, money is still the master. I’m not opposed to people having high levels of wealth passing through them, just uncomfortable with having high levels of accumulation being a high motivator. I believe his principles don’t adequately address the spiritual and heart issues around money. They are based more upon good secular American marketing strategies, which motivate people by the “American Dream” of financial independence, not God dependence. I’m not opposed to wise saving, but his mantra’s are beyond that in my opinion.

    Randy Alcorn would be my favorite teacher on the topic as his focus is on the spiritual and heart issues around money. Some of his teaching may not be viewed as simple and practical as Ramsey’s, but it gets to the most important issue, our heart and tendency toward greed. He challenges us to set a standard of living (an end point, you might say) and give the rest away. Fining that “right” standard of living is the hard part and can’t be “dictated” by anyone but has to be discerned by the Spirit. However, if your heart is really changed by these true biblical principles, your focus shifts and living like no one else while on earth really seems meaningless in light of eternity. His focus is on eternal wealth not earthly wealth, as a good biblical finance teacher should be.

    I appreciate this blog as well and appreciate the willingness to push against the “Christian mainstream” a bit on this topic of Bible and Money. Keep it up!

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