Wealth: It’s Misuse, Abuse, & Nonuse (James 5:1-6)

Wealth: It’s Misuse, Abuse, & Nonuse (James 5:1-6)
South City Church
December 4, 2016

Podcast link.

Goodreads Review of More than Just Race by William J. Wilson

More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner CityMore than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius Wilson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good. Provocative. Challenging.

Thesis – “The experience of poor, inner-city blacks represent the influences of more than just race.” Their responses and situation “stem from the linkage between new structural realities, changing norms, and evolving cultural patterns.” (pg. 131)

Wilson’s critique – The politically liberal tend to focus on structural realities to the neglect of cultural realities. Arguments based on culture tend to be taboo for them. The politically conservative tend to focus on individual responsibility and cultural realities to the neglect of prevailing structural realities built into America’s history of racial tension and segregation. Both of these approaches are inadequate.

Wilson’s assessment – Wilson addresses both structural and cultural realities and discusses the relationship between the two as he seeks to assess the situation of the inner-city poor black community in America. On structural realities relationship to culture, he states, “Culture mediates the impact of structural forces such as racial segregation and poverty.” (pg. 133) And on cultures relationship to structural realities, he states, “The behavior generated by these autonomous cultural forces often reinforces the very conditions that have emerged from structural inequities.” (pg. 134)

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Metzger Critiques Evangelical-Fundamentalist View on Capitalism

I would like to recommend to you a lecture I was privileged to hear at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School via the Carl F.H. Henry Center. The lecture was presented by Dr. Paul Metzger and was entitled Downward Mobility and Trickle-Up Economics: A Trinitarian Reflection on Money and Power. In this lecture Metzger presented a critique and examination of the typical American evangelical-fundamentalist view of economics, namely capitalism, and calls for a “capitalism of a higher order.” For example, he states, “While evangelicals are engaging increasingly [in] enterprises towards the poor, they’re not advocating for political policies that would fight against the structures that make and keep people poor.” And he points out what he sees as an inconsistency between the Fundamentalist-Evangelical rejection of evolution and its survival of the fittest but acceptance of capitalism and its survival of the economic fittest.”But would it not be difficult to challenge genetic determinism and natural selection if the [evangelical-fundamentalist] movement is conflicted, promoting an equally deterministic and naturalistic [economic] system.” “Evangelicals as a movement could not be an outspoken opponent because it often assumes the free and unregulated market economic narratives as gospel truth and embraces it with blind faith. . . . Evangelicals don’t simply assume the the market’s gospel-truthfulness, they champion it.”

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