The financial crisis gripping the country leaves some people desiring to decapitate a few capitalists. But the fact is, many who follow Christ are also culpable. For years we have wagged our finger at capitalism and consumerism, all the while ignoring “our most urgent missionary task,” according to one wise missionary. The task he’s referring to leads to the weightiest question. Raising it requires tough love. But if Christians saw it as part of their missionary task, they’d lessen the likelihood of future financial collapses.
The rest of us
When you think of Britain, you think tea drinkers, right? When you imagine China, you imagine communists, right? In both cases, you’d be partly right but mostly wrong. So when you hear that 94% of Americans believe in God, what do you imagine – an enthusiastically religious country? In this case, you’d be partly right but mostly wrong. In fact, you’d be very wrong about 83% of the US population. But let’s start with Britain.
Two bookends that bind American culture are the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Without them, our freedoms collapse like cascading books. Two bookends that bind American capitalism are Adam Smith’s 1776 classic An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations and… what else? Smith also wrote the other bookend, tying Wealth to an ageless wisdom that keeps our free markets from cascading off a shelf.
Not in the numbers
What’s the right number of kids for a family? How often should you kiss your spouse? Some questions require a mystical answer, not a mathematical one. This is why the proposal by college presidents to lower the drinking age is misguided. In fact, if finding the best drinking age is a matter of numbers and not the numinous, they ought to raise it to 25. Why 25? And what the heck is the numinous?
You’re smart to take Labor Day lying down. Being horizontal is holy, since God tells us to periodically kick up our feet and take a break (Leviticus 23:3). But there’s another reason to ‘go horizontal.’ Today’s teens, twenty- and thirty-somethings think horizontally. Those who communicate a horizontal faith will connect better with younger Americans who appear to be increasingly resistant to Christianity, but not to spirituality.