Saturday, November 12, 2016

Interview Co-Author John Cortines

God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School

1. What inspired you to write your book?
As MBA students at Harvard, we wanted to broaden our perspective and enrolled in a class called “God and Money” at Harvard Divinity School.  Despite being lifelong Christians, the reality is that we had never seriously engaged with what the Bible and our theological tradition has to say about wealth.  We were blown away! The book began as a term paper, and then just kept on growing.  We give God the credit for opening all the doors that made this project into a successful book.

2. What is it about?
Any person of faith who winds up with a high income or a good deal of wealth eventually wrestles with the question, “What do I do with all of this?”  We attempt to answer this question for the Christian reader, using a deep study of Scripture, compelling case studies of radically generous families, and through building a universal framework for handling wealth that we believe reflects the practical outworkings of a Christian theology of money.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
It’s not about how much I should give, but rather how much I should keep.

4. What advice do you have for writers?
Iterate, iterate, iterate.  Your very best work has room to get better, and will only get better through the serious and sustained engagement of outside voices in your project.  We went through literally hundreds of readers and incorporated the best of their feedback before we ever published our manuscript. It’s hard to over-state this point.  We threw an entire chapter in the trash and re-wrote it from the ground up, based on reader feedback.  We cut out portions that we were married to as the writers.  We swallowed our pride and allowed the “market” to dictate what worked, and what didn’t.

5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
We’re no experts, but self-publishing is clearly a force to be reckoned with.  We only went with a publisher when it became clear to us that they were going to be a long-term partner, not just the provider of a one-and-done marketing blitz that would be over in 60 days.  Eight months in, we are still working hand-in-hand with Rose Publishing and have been impressed with their commitment to the long-term success of our project.  That said, it’s a two-sided equation, and we put in many hours each week on this project even now, many months after it has been published.  We’re crisscrossing the country speaking, writing articles for publication, and deploying marketing capital to ensure the project continues to succeed, and our publisher has come alongside these efforts relationally and financially.

6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
It’s exhausting and all-consuming to write a well-researched book.  We gave six months of our lives fully to this project, to the detriment of our families, our studies, and our friendships.  It’s a serious undertaking.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
As a Christian, consider this:  money is talked about more in the Bible than heaven, hell, prayer, or faith.  It’s a central component of our faith journey, and yet this topic is often either ignored entirely, or abused for the gain of the teacher.  Quality research and information is hard to come by.  Our book takes a clear look at this topic from the perspective of two young business leaders who are very much still on the journey, and don’t have it all figured out… but want to do the best we can to honor God with all He has given us.  We’re actively discovering the joy of giving (and in fact are giving all book royalties away), and invite you to come along and discover it with us!

John Cortines, 27, is the co-author of God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School ( All book royalties are given to charity.  John lives in Orlando with his family and works for Generous Giving (, an organization that can help you host a Journey of Generosity ( retreat with your friends to further explore this message.  John has shared the biblical message of generosity on national radio, TV, and at conferences around the country.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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