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...]

Why does the clergy tax exemption matter?

Aside from the question of constitutionality, the clergy exemption raises a question that many people — whether religious or not — are likely to be wondering: Why exactly do ministers receive a tax exemption for their housing allowance? [Read more...]

The tragedy of Detroit

“Detroit developed best when it was bottom-up,” says Harry Veryser, economist and professor at University of Detroit Mercy. “When small communities, small parishes, small schools were formed… that’s when Detroit prospered.” [Read more...]

Pastors, seminary students, and economics

Why do pastors need to know all that much about economics? My friend and writing partner, Austin Hill, tells the story of a conference he attended as a graduate student where the facilitator posed the provocative question, “Can somebody name for me one area of our lives that has nothing to do with economics?” The group was silent for more than a few moments, as many pondered this for the first time. [Read more...]


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