Saturday, July 18, 2009

The economy of grace

Today my wife and I went to a "Money and Christian Discipleship Seminar" sponsored by TEAR Australia and the Bible College of Queensland.

A few random thoughts and things I learnt:

When is enough money, enough?

By law in Australia superannuation funds (IRA's in the USA) are required by law to maximise profit. Hence, it is actually hard for them to make "ethical" investments.

CHOICE reports that many investment funds that are advertised as "ethical" or "sustainable" still invest money in dubious enterprises.

Fear and greed is what drives the stock market.

Corporations are based on the separation of ownership and management.

Institutions such as the World Bank, IMF, and GATT are sometimes actually counter-productive and working against the goals for which they were set up.

I need to be better informed about globalisation and fair trade.
"Theology must be political if it is to be evangelical"
Desire of the Nations, Oliver O'Donovan, formerly Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."

John Kenneth Galbraith
US (Canadian-born) administrator & economist (1908 - 2006)
We need to combine ethical consuming, ethical investing, and direct advocacy.

16 of the 38 parables Jesus told are about money.

The Torah instructs Israel how to not live like the surrounding nations, especially how not to live in slavery like they did in Egypt.

The account of the manna in Exodus 16 illustrates how what God provides is to be distributed equitably rather than being accumulated.
The Sabbath is to be kept to proscibe work and be reminded of the economy of grace.

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