Category Archives: Economics

Does Fair Trade Coffee Help or Hurt?

If you’re devoted to the blessed coffee bean, you’ve probably come across the phrase “fair trade” dozens of times. And most of us here in the United States have at least some recognition that the term has to do with bettering the wages of coffee farmers in countries far less affluent than our own. Given

Black Thursday?

Having lived the last eight years in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I have consequently also missed out on Black Friday. It’s not the thing I’ve missed most while living abroad, but I certainly like a good bargain, and with our impending move into our new house, we have assorted purchases to make, so


I’ve frequently discussed on this blog the tendency many of us have to slip into generalizations about moral decline. That is why I really find myself gravitating toward the research from people like Dan Ariely. Dan has consistently risen to the top of his field of behavioral economics and the science of making choices. Statistical

‘Shedding the Blood of Creation’ as Sacrament or Sacrilege

“There is absolutely no reason a piece of furniture should not last hundreds of years. Literally, hundreds of years.” So says Harrison Higgins, a maker of custom furniture based in Richmond, Virginia. According to his website, Higgins began making furniture over 30 years ago as an apprentice to a German furniture maker. In a short

Health Care Reform

When I was first asked to contribute to ESI over two years ago, a request was made for me to address areas of health and science which intersect a biblical worldview. It was hoped that I could help shine the light of the gospel on areas frequently left out of conversations in the American Christian

How to Really Help the Poor

Christianity Today posted on their website an interesting article on helping the poor. Bruce Wydick, himself an economist, polled other development economists asking them to “rate from 0-10 some of the most common poverty interventions to which ordinary people donate their money in terms of impact and cost-effectiveness per donated dollar.” Sixteen responded and their

Solyndra, The Big 12 and the Book of Proverbs

I was reflecting over my 36 years in the church (granted only 20 of those years I was paying attention) and I couldn’t recollect ever hearing a sermon series on the book of Proverbs. I am sure there is a logical reason as to why not, but I am not for sure what that would

Breaking Down the Walls Surrounding Sunday Mornings

It was noticeably easier to keep my attention squarely focused on Jesus and His Kingdom last week. “Coincidentally,” I had taken the week off work to drive down to St. Louis and spend five days around a conference table with several other brothers in Christ, listening and responding to various speakers addressing the overall topic

My Only Real Need

Earlier this year, I went on a mission trip to Jamaica with my three teenage girls. I came home from that trip deeply sobered by the embarrassingly-rich way in which we Americans live. That one-week experience of being dropped into an entirely different culture may not have changed everything I do, but it for sure

The War Against Inequality?

“In February 2007, the Reverend Jim Wallis announced that ‘God hates inequality.’” “Bill Gates told the Harvard graduating class of 2007 that economic inequality was a moral outrage and that ‘reducing inequality is the highest human achievement.’” [In a 1998 sermon, Pope John Paul II stated:] “In the international community, we thus see a small