Below is an article I wrote for Sojourners blog.

New York Times op-ed columnist, David Brooks, responded, this week, to an intriguing article in the  about Jason Trigg, a recent MIT graduate, who chose a career on Wall Street as a way to redistribute wealth.

Trigg’s plan is simple. Make lots of . Live simply. Give lots of . It’s not far from John Wesley’s advice of, “Earn all you can. Give all you can. Save all you can.”  Actually, it’s almost identical.

Brooks perceptively sees the dangers and pitfalls in the road ahead. Most specifically, wealth and the surrounding environment can have a corrosive effect, no matter good our intentions. Brooks writes:


My natural inclination is towards caution.  I remember riding go-carts as a young child and driving about 1/10th of the speed of everyone around me.  Even my parents – the figures who normally urge children to use more caution – urged me to speed up.

My cautious nature causes me to evaluate and re-evaluate my decisions ad nauseum.  It also leads me to hold off on making major announcements until I feel everything is in place and success is all but secured.   But, I am learning that life isn’t perfect and there are far fewer sure things than I would like.  Planting a church is one of them.


Living Richly Toward God

November 30, 2011

While reflecting on the post about the parable of the rich farmer who built bigger barns, my wife pointed out an interesting part of the parable that I’d overlooked.  The parable ends with these words, “So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves, but are not rich toward God.” In light of the conversation about churches buildings trophies to themselves, what does it mean to be rich towards God?

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There’s a disturbing parable in Luke’s gospel about a rich farmer who has a bumper crop and decides to tear down his old barns and build bigger ones to hold his new found wealth. The parable ends in this way,

But God said to him. “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God. Luke 12:20-21

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When we think of people living in poverty, images of men in cardboard boxes often come to mind. We think of our first youth trip to the Appalachian Mountains or to the other side of the tracks to serve soup to the needy. We think of the single mother, living on section 8 housing in an area of the city we rarely visit. We think of someone else, somewhere else.


My friend Travis Reed interviews Phyllis Tickle and receives some interesting responses.  I think this piece is an excellent jumping off point for discussing the work and place of justice in the Christian community.

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