Wily and Convenient Sin (James 5:1-6)

James 5:1-6 is not a message that is well-received in our American capitalist society. In fact, most of the Letter of James is suspect in the eyes of those inclined to bigotry, greed, and violence. In this particular passage, James condemns the rich for their greed, the advantage they take of their workers, and their extravagant lifestyles made possible by their use and misuse of the poor. James particularly singles out the ways in which the rich cheat their laborers and withhold their wages. In the corrupt world of the Roman Empire, the poor had no recourse when suffering such oppression and orchestrated poverty. Continue reading

Totalism: Part Five

In Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy, biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann offers this definition of totalism: By “totalism” I mean a system of signs and symbols that make a claim of validity that is all-encompassing, that will allow no challenge or competition, and that will… Continue reading

Totalism: Part Four

In Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy, biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann offers this definition of totalism: By “totalism” I mean a system of signs and symbols that make a claim of validity that is all-encompassing, that will allow no challenge or competition, and that will… Continue reading

Totalism: Part Three

In Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy, biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann offers this definition of totalism: By “totalism” I mean a system of signs and symbols that make a claim of validity that is all-encompassing, that will allow no challenge or competition, and that will… Continue reading

Totalism: Part One

(In other articles, I have expressed my debt to and appreciation of the work of biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann. Tenacious Solidarity: Biblical Provocations on Race, Religion, Climate, and the Economy is one of his recent books which I believe speaks so powerfully to our current national crisis. It is 472… Continue reading

Psalm 23, Matthew 6:24-33 “The Lord is My Shepherd” (Part One)

Read the Scripture Passages As a child, when I heard the word “lint” (pronounced the same as the word “Lent”), I thought of those little specks of whatever people would get on their clothes. I remember every Sunday morning my father using the lint brush to brush off specks on… Continue reading

Economics as If People Matter

The modern economy is propelled by a frenzy of greed and indulges in an orgy of envy, and these are not accidental features but the very causes of its expansionist success. . . If human vices such as greed and envy are systematically cultivated, the inevitable result is nothing less… Continue reading

Luke 12:13 21 “Mismanaging a Miracle”

Jesus begins this parable with a statement of blessing– “A certain rich man’s lands brought forth bountiful crops.” The word used for “land” is not the usual term agros. No, the word used is chora  a term which means extensive holdings, as much as a whole district or region. So,… Continue reading

Needed to be Developed—Had to be Done

During this pandemic Susan and I are living in Wabash, Indiana Monday-Friday taking care of our seven-year-old grandson Jeffery while our daughter and son-in-law work as RNs at the VA Hospital in Marion, Indiana. We return to our Indianapolis home on weekends. Weather permitting, we take our grandson to Paradise… Continue reading