How wealth led to the decline of the church

I’m reading Henry Chadwick’s history The Early Church and there are some absolute gems which I’ll post for your reflection, edification and application. “By the end of the fourth century the Church had virtually captured society. In worldly terms of status and social influence, the episcopate of even moderately important cities had become an established career to which a man might aspire for reasons not exclusively religious.” Chadwick describes the situation that while this mean that the church supported large numbers of the poor it also became an economic and…

Read More

The Giving Pledge

This is remarkable (a must look) “In June, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett started the Giving Pledge: an initiative aimed at getting billionaires to pledge at least half of their net worth to charitable donations. So far, 40 individuals have signed up. The roster includes household names like George Lucas, David Rockefeller, Ted Turner and, not least, founders Gates and Buffett, who have pledged significantly more than half of their net worth. While some have already argued that part of the estimated $600 billion that this initiative could…

Read More

Profile of the Obsessed (3)

Obsessed people are more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected or fulfilling the status quo. A person who is obsessed with Jesus will do things that don’t always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth. As Martin Luther put it, ‘There are two days on my calendar: this day and that day’ (Luke 14:25-35; Matt 7:13-23; 8:18-22; Rev 3:1-6).

Read More

Consuming Reflections: If you're rich be like this

Job is an interesting character – as I’ve already noted when we first meet him, he is an extremely rich man. By the end of the story he is even richer, God has not only restored to him what was lost but gave him an even greater abundance (Job 42:12). Job, like Abraham, is held up as an example that God thinks being rich is OK. If being rich in and of itself were bad then why would God bless Job? It’s a reasonable argument but the Bible also tells…

Read More

Money can't buy happiness…

…according to this report on BBC news. Which is, well, not very surprising actually. Instead it shows that the more technology and stuff we have the greater our anxiety and the more likely we are to be depressed. On that note yesterday I kept my laptop switched off all day, and found it hard to do…I think I’m addicted. Alternative ways of passing the time paled in comparison to either working or wasting time on a computer game. So I’ve decided I must have a computer sabbath each week. It’s…

Read More