Finance, faith and fantasy

By , 10 October 2008 6:32 pm

I thought it was time I made some comment, however brief, on the world’s financial state. So far for many of us it appears to be like thunder on the edge of the horizon, something of a dramatic novelty but not a matter that directly affects us. Of course very soon it is going to be having a direct effect and not a benign one. In fact in our church it looks as though we are going to create a finance subcommittee whose brief will be to offer aid and assistance to those who will have been affected. At least that’s the plan.

Let me make two other observations.

The first is that I find myself troubled by absence of any prophetic Christian response; not to this present crisis (which may come) but to the bizarre and reckless boom we saw over the last ten or twenty years. Where were the prophetic voices saying that ‘it’s not going to last’, ‘it’s a house built on sand’ and ‘what goes up must come down’? I am happy to include myself in this critique. Frankly, even those of us who were not avid supporters of the prosperity gospel seem to have been content to receive the benefits of a financial situation that we now realise was based largely on irresponsible property speculation. I wish somewhere there was some prophetic figure who could say ‘I told you this would all end in tears’. Perhaps there is and I will be glad to hear of him or her.

The second observation is this. If there was a failure of the prophetic nerve there was also it seems to me a failure in the area of imagination. Quite simply no one seems to have been able to conceive of the scale of the pending disaster. It is almost as if an assembled mass of lemmings had peered over the cliff before them only to mutter ‘Well, it certainly looks a long way down, but I don’t suppose it can really hurt.’ Perhaps everybody should have read a few more fantasy books and a few fewer property magazines.

Other news quickly. Simeon continues to do well and gain weight and has survived his first cold. There are also some developments occurring with my writing career that I am not at liberty to discuss but which sound promising. Your prayers are welcome on both counts.

Whatever happens to the markets, have a good week.


6 Responses to “Finance, faith and fantasy”

  1. SuperAngel says:

    I do find it troublesome that no one is talking about how all these events are very prophetic!

    I am so glad that Simeon is doing well! I have been praying for him and am so encouraged that he is doing good!

    Oooh! keepin us guessing on new writings? :) I am so looking forward to whatever is coming from you! I love all your works! :)
    Miss Amanda

  2. Catherine Brislee says:

    “More fantasy books and fewer property magazines”! I agree! As someone who reads both economics and fantasy (yes, I know – weird!), I can tell you that fantasy is usually more realistic. Besides I think that reading about an alternative world can really help us to notice what’s going on in this one. So please keep up the good work.

    What I find interesting about the failure in imagination you mention is the change in moral emphasis. When did people stop talking about the dangers of materialism? Who dares to say these days that it’s just plain greedy to have three or four televisions in one house? Because I do believe that this crisis is not just about property speculation, but about a cultural change in attitude towards debt and material possessions.

    Very happy to hear about Simeon. Please keep us posted.

    Best wishes,

  3. Stephanie says:

    I think Catherine’s right on the money (no pun intended) with the whole materialism thing. I had noticed how people (Americans especially) were always wanting more and bigger things and living well outside their means. So it’s really no surprise that things are not going well in that department now.
    I just hope that the church will be willing and ready to respond to the crisis. I’m glad your church is taking steps in that direction, and hopefully others will follow.

    Thanks for the update on Simeon too. Glad he’s doing well. :)

    God bless!

  4. Keanan says:

    On a completely UNRELATED note, my church has FINALLY recieved THE INFINITE DAY, and as I requested it, I am currently reading it first. :)

    I just wanted to thank you for your writing. While I do find it annoying how many authors are compared to “C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien”, in their own right, your books are marvelous. The charactors and the plotline (and subplots, and sub-subplots.) have kept me in suspense and unable to put the books down.

    Thanks for blending Christianity so seemlessly into this great piece of writing.

    Spiritually, surprisingly to myself (although maybe not to you), I have found these books to actually uplift my spirit in ways I didn’t think was possible from a fictional book.

    One particular example is of course a single word found in THE DARK FOUNDATIONS- “endure”, which has helped me indeed endure troubles and difficult situations with surprising effectiveness.

    Anyway, enough rambling from me. I just wanted to thank you again for writing such a brilliant trilogy for me to enjoy without any worries of a secret message or undercurrent that I’d have to deal with while reading.

  5. My Boaz's Ruth says: has been saying for a very long time that these problems were there in the housing market

  6. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    PS One more thing to add. Both Dave Ramsey and the Crown Financial Ministries have been calling on Christians NOT to live in debt, and churches to have ministries to help their parishioners learn to budget and live within their means.

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