An economist’s Christmas: Is gift-giving wasteful?

During a season such as Christmas, where hyper-consumerism and hyper-generosity converge in strange and mysterious ways, it’s a question worth asking: How much of our gift-giving is inefficient and wasteful? For some, it’s a buzz-kill question worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge. Continue Reading...

When Generosity Transforms a Community

Bishop Hannington longed to see an awakening to generosity in his town of Bundibugyo, Uganda, where many viewed giving more as a matter of duty than heartfelt joy. Yet what at first seemed like a significant challenge soon grew even steeper. Continue Reading...

Joy for the World: Restoring the Joy of God to Cultural Witness

Over the last century, Christianity has declined in social influence across much of the Western world, leading many to believe it has little place or purpose in public life. In response, Christian reactions have varied, with the more typical approaches being fortification (“hide!”), domination (“fight!”), or accommodation (“blend in!”).  Continue Reading...

What a Teen with Down Syndrome Can Teach Us About the Joy of Work

In an enthusiastic reaction to his first job offer, Ben Sunderman, a 19-year-old with Down syndrome, has spread lots of smiles across the internet. In doing so, he reminds us of the power of work to bring joy to human lives, and of the gift-giving capacity God has given to each of us, including those we often dismiss as “disabled.” Caught on video by his mother, Sunderman literally jumps for joy after reading about his acceptance to an internship at Embassy Suites. Continue Reading...

A Note of Thanks

There’s a good deal of new research that connects things like happiness and satisfaction to experiences rather than to material goods. If you want to be happy, the advice goes, buy experiences, not things. Continue Reading...