Tag Archives: money

Roland Boer on The Parable of the Talents (Minas)

Roland Boer is one of my favorite critical theorists, and I can’t wait for his next book to come out.

For those interested in theology and economics, I thought this quote was a classic:

“Further, in an economy where one could not invest money, where the notion of buying shares in the stock market did not exist, for there were no stock markets (let alone banks), where even credit was a very primitive notion, what did one do with any amount of money? As Morris Finley points out, the natural thing to do was bury money until you needed it. This the rich did again and again. So the slave who buried the talent did the right thing according to practices of the rich at the time. But the parable condemns him and not the ones who ‘worked’ the talents out in a desperately poor community.”

See more: Parable of the Talents

Onward Christian soldiers!

For an alternative and complementary reading of this parable, see my post: The Parable-Driven Life: The Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:11-28)

A Few Mild Observations about the Deficit Talks

I’ll have to admit. I tried to avoid the train-wreck that was the Casey Anthony trial, especially since I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of the media, populace, and politicians showing more enthusiasm for capital punishment than any other issue.

The one soap opera that has gotten my attention, admittedly, are the current “discussions” going on about the raising of the debt ceiling. I could get all Christianly and say, well these talks just prove how hopelessly divided we are, yada yada, and how debates centering around OUR TAX DOLLARS are moral issues.

However, it’s already been said. So, here are some random thoughts about what is going on.

1. I side with the libertarian/independents/Tea party side of this debate, when it comes to a Balanced Budget Amendment. Deficit spending means sacrificing our future on the alter of the present.

That being said:

2. I do not believe that tax cuts work. In fact, on this point, I think that the Grand Ole Party is playing class warfare against the working class. It seems to me that it would behoove the Tax Cutting Warhawks to prove that corporations and individuals not have the potential to create jobs, but in fact, we need to see evidence that THEY ARE creating jobs, like in the here and now. I have not seen any evidence that when the Bush tax cuts were extended, there were more jobs being created. What excessive tax cutters really want is a government that favors the producers of society, in opposition to the Democratic party which favors labor. From a libertarian perspective, hey, here is an idea: no one receives any favors! Sound good, huh?

I would support tax raises, if I got guarantees they would go towards reducing the deficit, balancing the budget.

3. Speaker of the House John Boehner (OH) keeps talking about entitlement reform. What this is code for is “waging war on the working poor,” plain and simple. The funny thing is that President Obama has beaten Boehner to the punch: The President’s healthcare reform means cuts to medicare, and against the best interest of our senior citizens.

4. Lastly, the scariest development out of this whole debate recently is the idea that President Obama can unilaterally raise the debt ceiling on his own through the use of the 14th Amendment. Joel apparently supports the imperial presidency. I don’t on any level. It’s time for a prime minister. I get disgusted at how much power the executive has taken for himself over the past thirty years, with no one willing to check them. That’s why we are stuck in Libya right now. And Iraq. And Afghanistan. And Pakistan.

The Economy of Jesus: An Introduction

A few weeks ago in the theo-blogosphere there were several concerned theo-bloggers who expressed questions about the Tea Party’s rise to political power after the mid-term elections, particularly their approach to economics: see for example, J Kameron Carter, Adam Kotsko, and David Horstkoetter.

As I promised via Twitter, I want to start exploring the ancient life of Israel & Judah, Christ, and their  relationship to economic practices, particularly here in the United States. I want it to be an exploration in Christology rather than a partisan polemic, which seeks not some abstract fascist leaning Third Way , but that which is guided by some principles, perhaps the Ten Commandments for example, or maybe notions of Christian nonviolence. Perhaps we should try to re-imagine the world without monetary policy or currency? Are they really necessary? Are these inherently violent? Maybe we should consider bringing back bartering, trading possessions between individuals and families?

I object to labelling Jesus of Nazareth either a Socialist or capitalist, due in large part to my suspicion that so many Western intellectuals have a bad habit of viewing, as J Kameron Carter in his work Race: A Theological Account, Jesus as the very best that the West had to offer in the garb of the Orient.  That, and the tendency I see on some on the left and right of encapsulating Christ as the embodiment of their ideals at the direct (whether it be conscious or unconscious remains to be seen) exclusion of Jesus’ Jewishness. By this, I mean not to delve into which sect he was part of ( Second-Temple Pharisee or revolutionary Essene, etc.) but the (economic and religious) practices which formed his identity and his earthly ministry.

I hope that you will join me in this journey.

Truth and Peace,

Rod

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