Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Part 1

Few people today interested in personal money management have not heard the name Dave Ramsey. Ramsey has built an empire of financial counseling that includes a nationally-syndicated radio show, a slot on Fox Business channel, and a NY Times bestseller, The Total Money Makeover. His website claims that over 1,000,000 families have taken Financial Peace University (FPU), his financial class designed to help people take charge of their money. On average, the website claims, attendees pay off $5,300 in debt and save $2,700 in just 90 days. FPU is billed as “a 13-week video curriculum—taught by financial expert Dave Ramsey—that incorporates small-group discussions to encourage accountability and discipleship. Financial Peace University is highly entertaining for everyone, with a unique combination of humor, informative financial advice and biblical messages.”

With such stunning results, it’s easy to understand why so many people are turning to Ramsey for financial advice. Since FPU is marketed to churches (along with other institutions such as businesses and the military), it is worth the effort to examine the program and evaluate it biblically. While Ramsey professes to be a Christian and uses Scripture liberally (in his church version of FPU), I discovered profound problems with the program, both in its content, and in its use by churches as an evangelistic tool. What follows is not a thorough critique, but a general attempt to evaluate the program biblically and theologically, while being as charitable as possible.

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What Your Pastor Wishes You Knew About Him, Part 2

Originallly appeared at Whirled Views, June 2009. Read Part 1.

6. Your pastor probably views you differently than you view him.

Being someone’s pastor is actually a very intimate experience. If your pastor is a good one, he loves you. He’s been there during some of your most difficult moments. He’s caught tears, perhaps had to be the one to tell you difficult news, has seen you at your best and at your worst. You may have confided some personal things in him that are known only to you, him and God as you work through the consequences of sin, personal tragedies and other pains. He has invested his heart and soul in you by praying for you, weeping with you, perhaps even putting your needs ahead of his or his family’s at times.

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