Jon Merritt’s interview with Andy Stanley, about Andy’s new book:
RNS: Jesus begins his ministry by proclaiming good news to the poor, he advocated for the poor and he was suspicious of wealth–like when he said, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Is that message more difficult to preach in a society like the U.S.? Are these biblical themes of helping the poor, and the danger of wealth, “hidden in plain sight” for many?
No matter where you stand on the economy, we live in the richest time of the richest nation in history. In fact, if you can read this interview, you’re automatically rich by global standards. And it’s not just because you can read, but because you’ve been given individual freedom to do so, not to mention the time.
What we call “poverty” today would have been considered middle class just a few generations ago. In 2000, the average “poor” family had goods and services rivaling middle-class families of the 1970’s. In addition, most poor families don’t stay poor. Over the sixteen-year period tracked by one study, 95% of the families in the lowest income quintile climbed the economic ladder to higher quintiles. As Michael Cox, an economist with the Federal Reserve, noted, “The rich may have gotten a little richer, but the poor have gotten much richer.”
So my purpose in writing this book is to help rich Jesus-followers get better at being rich. Even if we’re not convinced we’re rich, we all probably hope to be. And should we ever admit that we have, in fact, crossed that imaginary line, I want us to be good at it. After all, most rich people aren’t.
- See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/12/31/andy-stanley-tells-christians-rich/#sthash.64fElFqA.dpuf