Tag: economics

Stewardship Economics: Work in the Larger Economic Frame (A Video from the Boston Faith at Work Summit)

The purpose of the Faith@Work Summit is to gather active participants and leaders in the faith at work movement from every industry sector to learn from each other and work together to extend Christ’s transforming presence in workplaces around the world. The next Summit will be in Chicago on Oct. 11-13, 2018. Go to fwsummit.org to sign up for updates and to learn more about the Summit.

In one of the opening talks at the 2014 Boston Faith@Work Summit , Greg Forster talked about economics…and teddy bears. Why teddy bears? Learn more below!

From the Karam Forum: Jesus and Paul as Economic Teachers

The Karam Forum is using a unique “flipped conference” model for their January conference, releasing the talks now and discussing them in January at the conference. Check out more info below as reported in the Oikonomia Network newsletter, and register for the conference here.

Following our unique flipped conference model, the Oikonomia Network is proud to present the first two talks for Karam Forum 2018. The future is now!

Check out these talks on Jesus as an economic teacher and Paul’s idea of the oikonomia theou ­– the economy of God. The speakers. Joshua Jipp and Nathan Hitchcock, will be with us at Karam Forum for discussion and collaboration, so register today to join us in Los Angeles on Jan. 4-5! (Don’t forget, faculty and leaders at ON partner schools can get a coupon code for registration.)

In this highly personal talk, Joshua Jipp of Trinity International University shares stories of his grandfather on the Iowa farm where he grew up. Jipp asserts that his Grandpa Wayne lived the way he did because he had absorbed key economic teachings from Jesus. The Parable of the Rich Fool provides a focus for these teachings.

Jesus teaches us to choose contentment over consumerism. He warns us that greed will deceive us into thinking life or happiness is about consumption. The rich fool worked to store up goods for himself; Grandpa Wayne knew that a good life does not consist in possessions.

Jesus teaches us to value productivity over extraction. Created in the image of a creative God, our role is to create value for others, rather than seek to take it from others. The rich fool didn’t work for what he had; he used his social position to exploit other people, getting his goods through their work without contributing himself. Grandpa Wayne had run-ins with that kind of person, too, but he obtained all he had through his own work.

Jesus teaches us to pursue community over isolation. Our good is intertwined with the good of our neighbors. The rich fool hardly even knew he had neighbors; he was too busy thinking about himself. Grandpa Wayne worked to benefit others, and was generous with what he had.

Nathan Hitchcock of Sioux Falls Seminary unpacks the meaning of a biblical term that’s very familiar to readers of this newsletter: oikonomia. He points out that Paul uses this term frequently, comparing Paul’s “economy of God” with the gospels’ “kingdom of God.” We usually don’t notice the importance of this term, however, because it’s translated differently in different passages.

Walking through the use of the phrase oikonomia theou in Ephesians, Hitchcock argues that God’s creation plan – the economy of God – is an audacious enterprise.

God’s enterprise is all-encompassing; there is nothing that isn’t part of God’s plan for his world. It includes the work of Yvette, who once struggled to see how her banking job connects to God but now does her daily work in a way that aligns with God’s economy.

God’s enterprise is all-in; our commitment to it should be as unreserved and self-sacrificing as God’s own commitment to it. Knowing that God is all-in helps David, who works in crisis counseling, avoid the twin traps of workaholism and dropping out.

God’s enterprise is all-including; every person is called to join as a partner in the divine project of creation. God recruits sketchy partners like Paul (a violent racist) and Matthew (a tax collector) – and John, a recovering addict and mentally challenged individual who has discovered how God can use him for great things in his daily work.

Check out these videos as you prepare for Karam Forum – and consider using them with students in your classes!

Thanking God for Business (Some Prayers and Thoughts After the Hurricane)

Reprinted from the Center for Faith and Work at LeTourneau University. By Bill Peel My eyes were glued to the Weather Channel during the landfalls and aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma like many of you. And we were all so impressed with both the first responders who put their lives on the line as well as the volunteers who went…

Thinking and Rethinking Work: Spotlight on Grand Rapids Theological Seminary

By Darrell Yoder; reprinted from the Oikonomia Network newsletter At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we are nearing completion of two multi-year projects related to the work of the Oikonomia Network. These two projects have focused on helping students and local pastors develop a biblical theology of work and to pursue faithful approaches to economics and poverty. Local Pastors and Churches…

More Work, Less Reward?

The New York Times published an article in July called “Work and Reward: The Great Disconnect.” *  Basically, the article’s argument is that people tend to assume that harder work will bring them more renumeration, but that, even if ever true in the past, this is becoming less and less true today. This leads to an overall sense of discouragement:…

Obsessed With Work or Just Bored? Bringing the Conversation About Work Across Acoma Street

It’s well past 1 p.m. From my desk I look across Acoma Street and see a woman in her early 20s wearing baggy sweat pants, a cigarette hanging out her mouth, tossing an empty Mountain Dew bottle in a dumpster that’s been parked in her driveway for months. She squints at the sun, as if it’s an unwelcome guest disturbing her slumber. Next…

Why the election is a faith and work crisis

  I’ve told the story before how a chance phone call from Chris Armstrong in late 2013 involved me, a nice moderate United-Methodist-turned-Episcopalian mainliner who was doctrinally orthodox but not culturally evangelical, in the faith and work movement. Even as a not-particularly-liberal mainline type, one of the barriers to involvement in this space that I had to overcome was my…