Rick Warren on Hobby Lobby Lawsuit: ‘Every Business is Either Moral or Immoral’

In response to the Hobby Lobby lawsuit, Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church, has released a statement at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty: …The government has tried to reinterpret the First Amendment from freedom to PRACTICE your religion, to a more narrow freedom to worship, which would limit your freedom to the hour a week you are at a house of worship. Continue Reading...

Amity Shlaes on ‘The Good Rich’ and the Folly of Philanthropy

In a new book, The Good Rich and What They Cost Us, Robert Dalzell Jr. aims to address “a great paradox at the core of the American Dream: a passionate belief in the principles of democracy combined with an equally passionate celebration of wealth.” In a review for the Wall Street Journal, Amity Shlaes notes that although the book provides an in-depth look at the history of American philanthropy, the author’s own personal prescriptions lend too high a trust to government redistribution: “The Good Rich” starts out like a tour through a portrait gallery, describing rather than judging. Continue Reading...

Happiness, Work, and the Eternal Quest for Meaning

In my cautionary post on the constant temptation to indulge in earthbound economics, I mentioned that even seemingly noble, intangible features such as “happiness” can be just as futile and vain when pursued on our own terms and for our own limited purposes. Continue Reading...

Access vs. Ownership in ‘Collaborative Consumption’

New rental markets are popping up all over the place, as detailed by a recent Wall Street Journal article. The trend is beginning to drive a larger movement labeled by some as “collaborative consumption,” wherein “sharing” is pushed as a way of “reinventing old market behaviors.” Over at Carpe Diem, Mark J. Continue Reading...

C.S. Lewis on Transcendent Economics

I recently discussed our pesky human tendency to limit and debase our thinking about economics to the temporary and material. Much like Judas, who reacted bitterly to Mary’s outpouring of expensive ointment, we neglect to contemplate what eternal purposes God might have for this or that material good and the ways through which it might be used or distributed. Continue Reading...

David Platt, Wealth, and the Work of the Gospel

Over at Thought Life, Owen Strachan uses David Platt’s book, Radical Together, as a launching pad for asking, “Are you and I making and using money as if there is no such thing as the work of the gospel?” I’ve already written about my disagreements with Platt’s approach in his first book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, and Strachan expresses similar reservations. Continue Reading...

Self-Denial in the Age of Self-Help

I recently discussed the importance of aligning ourselves to God before getting too carried away with our own plans for economic restoration. We should instead seek to supplant the personal for the divine, embracing a transcendent framework through which we can pursue what we already recognize to be transcendent ends. Continue Reading...

Beyond an Earthbound Economics

We humans have a pesky tendency toward earthbound thinking. The natural world comes more easily to us, for obvious reasons, and thus, even when we aim to overcome our disposition and contemplate ways to improve things beyond the immediate, it’s hard for us to break out of the box. Continue Reading...

Work, Leisure, and the Search for Daily Meaning

Over at AEIdeas, James Pethokoukis challenges our attitudes about work and leisure by drawing a helpful contrast between economists John Maynard Keynes and Deirdre McCloskey. First, he points to “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren,” in which Keynes frames our economic pursuits as a means to a leisurely end: Thus for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem-how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well. Continue Reading...