Beyond a material understanding of poverty

As we continue to encounter the adverse effects of particular forms of foreign aid, it becomes increasingly clear that solving complex social and economic problems requires a level of care, concern, and discipleship not well suited to detached top-down “solutions.” But just as we ought to be more careful about the types of solutions we create, we ought to be equally concerned about the nature of the needs themselves, which are no less complex or difficult to discern. Continue Reading...

Reordering the loves: How vocation redeems our self-interest

“The economic order, in light of the doctrine of vocation, becomes a complex network of individual human beings loving and serving each other according to their God-given gifts and abilities. The division of labor is transfigured into a labor of love.” –Gene Veith “Martin Luther” by Lucas Cranach der Ältere (Public Domain) In his latest book, Working for Our Neighbor, Gene Veith explores a Lutheran understanding of work, vocation, and economics, concluding that, for the Christian, work and vocation are God’s design for serving the people around us. Continue Reading...

Called to the coalfields: How an Appalachian church is spurring economic action

Due to a rapidly changing economy and a range of excessive regulations from the federal government, the American coal mining industry is facing serious challenges. For states like West Virginia, the effects are particularly painful, as mining towns and communities struggle under a projected 23% decline in related jobs in recent years, leading vast numbers of residents to leave the state altogether. Continue Reading...