Reviews: Blessed Are the Consumers: Climate Change and the Practice of Restraint and Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation

Sallie McFague and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda agree: the world is in trouble and we are to blame. Rising sea levels due to climate change; species extinction; massive inequalities between rich and poor on a global scale; unstable economies predicated on dwindling reserves of petroleum… the list goes on. These two eminent eco-theologians have faced the prospect of environmental catastrophe, but in their newest books – both released from Fortress this year – they bring messages of hope.

Consumption, Ethics and the Environment: a Lutheran Perspective

Consumption’s impact: A Chocolate Case Study [1] Some of the most significant environmental problems of our time result from the collective impact of individual consumption decisions. We decide what to eat, what to wear, how to heat and cool our homes, how to transport ourselves, and what products to buy. All of these add up […]

American Lutheran pastors and their Finances

[1] In America, Lutheran pastors have often had to struggle with their personal finances, so the current issues facing clergy in the ELCA are not new. These issues have ebbed and flowed over time, however, and the nature of these financial challenges has changed, as the financial health of the church, and of the nation, […]

Editor’s Introduction – The Ethics of Personal Finance

[1] We are now nearly four years into what has been termed variously the “Great Recession” and the “Lesser Depression.” Unemployment remains at its highest levels since the early 1980s, home foreclosures and short sales have become de rigueur in the housing market, and college students around the country are holding their collective breath as […]

Challenges Facing Bishops in light of Clergy Debt

[1] An ELCA bishop recently asked a key synod leadership group: “How can we cultivate a culture of hopeful leaders?” What a great question! I asked him how the conversation went, and he said, “They had a hard time with it. We need to take it up again.” Challenges Facing Bishops in light of Clergy […]

Seminarian Debt: Ethical Challenges

[1] The amount of financial aid that students need and the amount of debt they acquire to earn their college and seminary degrees has dramatically changed in the past decade. In response to an educational debt crisis nationally, there have been major changes to the Federal Loan program. Students legally have access to borrow more, […]

Carpe Tithem: Tithing as Invigorative in the Life of Faith

[1] Years ago I worked with a young pastor who had been a fervent tither ever since the first day of her wage-earning life. Her practice continued for a couple of years until one day her mother gently confronted her with this request: “Sweetheart, I need you to stop tithing because I’m retiring soon and […]

Faith and Finance: A solo journey into solidarity

[1] Growing up the daughter of a banker and an actuary, who are also very faith-filled persons, my relationship with money has always been positive. Be practical, save as much as you can, and share with others, were lessons taught through action in my home. That foundation has surely led me to my beliefs today. […]

Behind the Online Curtain: Online Advertising, Teens and the Christian Form

[1] The advertising world has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I understand the concept of telling others about your product or service so that they might buy it. But the industry has exploded over the last several decades as I’ve crossed from my young adulthood of the 80’s and 90’s and […]

Editor’s Introduction – Wise as Serpents, Innocent as Doves: Forming Counter-Cultural Christians in an Age of Consumer Media / Advertising

[1] Viral marketing, product placement, and extensive consumer data gathering enable consumer advertising to reach its tentacles of influence deep into our lives. Disposable income and malleable social identity make youth a desirable demographic for commercial advertising. Unless they have the power to question and resist, youth can be formed into ultimate consumers. [2] Aware […]