Professor Kelly Kapic and Justin Borger '06 Co-Author Book on Giving
On October 26, 2010, Zondervan releases God So Loved, He Gave, written by Dr. Kelly Kapic, professor of theological studies at Covenant College. One of the things that is so exciting about this book, says Kapic, is that he was able to work with Justin Borger '06, his former student. The book explores the Christian story through the lens of "gift." With such features as discussion questions for each chapter and occasional personal stories, God So Loved, He Gave is written with a general audience in mind, a fact that sets it apart from Kapic's previous books.
Kapic notes that generosity and giving are often seen as merely incidental aspects of the Christian life. "We think of giving as a cherry on top," he says. "Some people argue Christianity's not about giving, it's about grace. Well, grace is giving. Grace grounds everything." While there are some excellent books on issues of justice and poverty, others on stewardship, and others on evangelism and Christian living, Kapic desires this book to ground those various discussions. "These other books are all really important, like branches in a tree," he notes, "but what has not always been clear is the roots that feed the branches. How do we move beyond a few proof texts to a robust appreciation of the movement of divine generosity? What feeds all the branches is the gospel, the good news of God, which is far bigger than most of us realize."
After graduating from Covenant, Justin Borger took on an internship at Generous Giving, a non-profit organization in Chattanooga. Through a series of events, Kapic and Borger ended up considering working on a book on generosity, and then, Kapic says, it grew into a much larger project. Borger, serving as a research assistant for the project, proved invaluable to Kapic, not only for his research but also as he became a trusted friend. Borger is now the generosity content director for the Maclellan Foundation.
As Kapic read and wrote, old passages opened up in new ways, not least of all the verse from which the book's title comes: John 3:16. Borger mentions another such verse, 1 John 3:17, which asks how anyone can have the love of God in his heart if he has worldly goods and sees someone in need but does not give.
"This was the hardest book I've written," says Kapic. "You can't help but look at yourself and realize you're falling short. The gospel asks that we give, and by giving, we die. But in dying, we live. It's subtle. It's different." Borger agrees, noting that "there's a real contradiction between that narrative and the narrative that's so common in secular culture, and even in the church, if we're honest."
Kapic and Borger hope the book will not only challenge readers, but also be a great encouragement to them as they soak in God's stunning grace. Rather than emphasizing one branch of giving, God So Loved, He Gave addresses the numerous ways Christians should give, letting God's love flow through them. "All of this fits together," says Kapic. "What fits it together is who God is."
Podcasts by Dr. Kapic: