I have been writing on personal finance and helping people with their money for years, but I have avoided Dave Ramsey like a OSU fan avoids maize and gold. I didn’t want to be overtly influenced by what some people consider the definitive author of personal finance. I realize, of course, that since most of what is taught in the PF world is common sense it all seems derivative, but I still prefer to feel like I am not copying someone else’s work.
Dave Ramsey is an Evangelical Christian who makes his name by teaching people “God’s way to handle their money”. I have been asked to assist with facilitating Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, his magnum opus, and so I held my breath and plunged in. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be on many levels. Dave is a very polished presenter with a delivery that reminds me of comedian Bill Engvall (they also have the same eyes) his use of humor was engaging and kept me from becoming completely bored, I can’t stand to be on the receiving end of a monologue.
Having said all of that, I am troubled that some of the things he says abuse the bible to prove his way is God’s way. He uses the bible to proof text his points, but has yet to address any passages that would contrast his “God wants you to have the American dream message.” For example, Jesus call in Luke 14:33 “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Or the fact that the Bible has very little good to say about money unless it is being given away. As a recovering member of the prosperity gospel movement this makes me very nervous.
We are only three weeks into the class so I hope I my mind will be changed as I move forward but I wanted to get my first impression out there before it is too late.
Have you ever taken the course? Tell me if it gets better in the comments below.
Photo courtesy of Jessica Adkins
The hubs and I did the FPU at our church about 4 years ago. We enjoyed the class and it helped us get focused financially, make a budget, and get on the same page with each other about our finances. We don’t follow 100% of his stuff, but have definitely benefitted from the course and are living debt free.
FPU lesson #9 addresses some of your biblical concerns. Additionally, he next course the Legacy Journey goes into more biblical depth to answer your scriptural questions.
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