Saturday, January 16, 2010

Only Two Things Are Inevitable...

I'm frustrated by articles like this. They old saying that only two things are inevitable is true. Only death and taxes are sure, at least in American minds. But there is one more thing that is sure... judgment at the seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10).

I'm concerned that in the midst of health care debates such as engages our country at the moment that we lose focus on something FAR more crucial. People without health insurance may die sooner. This is lamentable and should be solved in another way. For my thoughts see my blog post in health care not costing enough.

What is lost in this debate? Someone may die at 40 instead of 60 (again lamentable, I'm not for this at all, but I do disagree with the plan to solve it) but if an issue of far greater importance (alienation from God) is not resolved, their eternal life (yes, all people live forever) will be miserable. The priority for Christians - while pursuing a personal and church ministry like Jesus' that was powerful in word and deed (Luke 24:19) - is the salvation of people through the proclamation of the gospel.

The idea that people "won't die" if they simply have health insurance is untrue. They might not die 20 years earlier. That is true. But they will eternally die if they die at 40 or 60 without Jesus. The scale here is important. 40 billions years without Jesus will be miserable if you die at 60 while 40 billion years with Jesus will be pleasurable even if you die at 40.

Brooks Gets It Right

The disaster in Haiti is unspeakably horrible. However, the reason the disaster is so great - according to this article by David Brooks - is due to Haiti's poverty. In that article Brooks outlines the reasons why poverty persists in Haiti and in other places.

I couldn't agree more and readers can refer to my previous blog post concerning World Vision for more of my thoughts on the foolishness of much economic development that doesn't address the underlying worldview - and thus life habits (Brooks' main concern) - of the people being aided.

As well, the Brooks article provides a nice opportunity to share a resource I've greatly benefited from in the last 6 months or so. Wayne Grudem is someone who has recently done a lot of thinking about poverty fighting and economic development. You can hear audio of the results of his research - presented to his own Sunday School class so lay people ought to listen - here. A pdf of the notes he handed out is worth its weight in gold and can be found here.

On Grudem's recommendation I'm presently making my way through David Landes' monumental THe Wealth and Poverty of Nations. If you're into thinking about economics, economic history, or economic development it's a good read.