Work and the American Character

Over the Labor Day 2013 weekend, columnist Peggy Noonan wrote about “Work and the American Character.” Her column points to the critical connection between the spiritual value of work and the moral strength of our culture. Unfortunately, in her search for a beacon of hope that can point us back toward the dignity of work, she neglects the church in favor of less promising possibilities. [Read more...]

Working 9 to 5?

Recent research published in The Atlantic indicates that folks in creative and professional jobs might benefit from a differently structured workday: “A shorter workday works particularly well for knowledge workers—people in creative or professional jobs—who can work productively for about six hours a day, compared to the eight hours manual laborers can churn out, according to Salon. [Read More...]

The contested American Dream

For many affluent and educated Americans, including some Christians, the American Dream is a materialistic desire for not only a job, a family, and a house with a white picket fence, but also a beach house, two SUVS, exotic vacations, big-screen TVs, the latest fashions, $5 lattes, etc. It is easy to see why other Christians oppose this perversion of the American Dream, which simply promotes the acquisition of treasures on earth, and of social privilege, solely for self-glorification. But many of those who still long for the best of the American Dream are the marginal, the poor, the working class – those for whom education, steady work, and home ownership are life-long goals. [Read more...]

Not a “prosperity gospel”

Churches should not only empower people to do their work well, but should help them to have a broader vision of economic flourishing and how communities can achieve it. As I talk to pastors and seminaries about this idea on behalf of The Kern Family Foundation, I am often asked how this is different from the so-called “prosperity gospel.” [Read more...]

Disability and discipleship: “God Don’t Make No Junk”

We all are important to God. “God don’t make no junk,” as the saying on the T-shirt reads. This isn’t to deny the reality of brokenness and sin. But in the face of these evils, God still affirms and preserves his creation. Life itself is a blessing from God, and mere existence is proof enough that God values people and has purposes for us. Every one of us. [Read more...]

The end of urban ministry

Although it is often equated with neighborhood improvement, in reality gentrification is a process of class transformation: it is the remaking of working-class space to serve the needs of middle- and upper-class people. [Read more...]


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