Salary and Significance

During a recent conversation, a Chinese friend of mine commented on the lack of political involvement that she has observed in her peers, especially in comparison to American college students. She attributes this lack of involvement to the fact that the Chinese do not believe that political action can change the policies or even the identities of their leaders. Continue Reading...

DeKoster on Work and Food

I mentioned Lester DeKoster’s little classic, Work: The Meaning of Your Life—A Christian Perspective, in the context of the Lutheran World Federation’s General Assembly and the theme, “Give us today our daily bread.” In this book, DeKoster makes a pointed connection between work and food: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.” The Lord is saying that where humans are hungry, there he too chooses to hunger. Continue Reading...

Work, Globalization, and Civilization

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Lutheran World Federation Misses the Mark on Work and Wealth,” I reflect on the recently concluded general assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, held in Stuttgart. Continue Reading...

Humans are not Economic Automata

Courtesy Evangelical Outpost and the always-interesting 33 Things, here’s a video on the strangeness of the economics of incentives and punishments: The lesson here is that people in real life, body and soul, are not simple rational economic actors who respond only to material realities. Continue Reading...

The Context of Lutheran Ecumenical Social Activism

In the background of this month’s 11th General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, it’s important to recall the recent history of global Lutheranism. The basic context is that Lutheranism has been self-understood as historically associated with social quietism, particularly as expressed in the church’s impotency in the face of the Nazi menace. Continue Reading...

LWF General Assembly Underway

Today marks the opening of the 11th General Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, held this time in Stuttgart. Today is also the 66th anniversary of the failed Stauffenberg assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler. Continue Reading...

Review: Somewhere More Holy

In Somewhere More Holy, Tony Woodlief offers a serious account about tragedy, God, family, and grace. He also spins a great spiritual yarn which can move you from laughing to tears in mere moments. Continue Reading...

Fair Trade: Rhetoric and Reality

The NYT Freakonomics blog notes that the Fair Trade movement does not exist independently of the laws of economics: But the problem with Fair Trade coffee is that as the program scales up, the alternative market ethics it wants to sustain collapse. Continue Reading...

Secularism in Academe

You often hear that Europe is much more secular than America. Just take a look at the Netherlands, for instance. How much more secular can you get? But one place in which this stereotype rings false is in terms of academic institutions. Continue Reading...