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Promises and Warnings and Promises
LEVITICUS 26: 3- 46

Yesterday a student from a two-thirds-world country came to see me to talk about wealth and poverty, about the idea that God exercised a preferential option for the poor, about whether it was okay for us to enjoy the wealth we have, and about what he should say to a friend who asked if it was okay to buy a BMW rather than a Honda (he didn’t know I’d just bought a Honda). Discussing such issues with someone from the two-thirds world is different from discussing them with someone from the West, though this discussion was complicated by the fact that the student is in the United States because his family is well-to-do in his home country and can afford to send him to graduate school here. I talked about the fact that the Bible has no ideal whereby everyone has the same amount of wealth, but that having wealth is designed to make it possible to share it with others, and that people who want to spend a lot of their wealth on themselves would need to ask themselves what they expected to get out of doing that. The previous evening I had watched the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, which at one level is simply a romantic comedy, but at the same time it raises questions about the rush that buying things gives us, like the rush you get from any addiction. By its nature, the rush is only momentary. Then we have to buy something else...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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