Money Enough: Everyday Practices for Living Faithfully in the Global Economy
February 2010, Jossey-Bass
Reflections for Christians for dealing with money in a consumer-driven world
In this much-needed book Douglas Hicks looks at how Christian faith applies to the practices of economic life-spending, saving, giving especially as an alternative to a life of unbridled consumerism. This book offers reflections for people of faith and anyone who wants to connect their Monday through Saturday lives with their faith and live a more integrated way. It takes a look at how to realistically apply Christian principles in these especially perilous economic times.
- Explores how Christians can rethink their practices of faith as consumers, investors, and earners
- Offers reflections on an important Christian concept in a practical, lively, and engaging style
- Contains ideas for meeting the everyday pressures, questions, and anxieties of economic life as they connect with Christian faith
- A new volume in the Practices of Faith Series
The book is filled with the author's level-headed, thoughtful reflections on Christian practices of getting and spending.
3. Discerning Desires.
7. Expanding the Community.
8. Doing Justice.
Douglas A. Hicks is a writer and professor whose doctoral work at Harvard under noted theologian Ronald Thiemann and Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen combined religion, ethics, and economics. He teaches at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and is a Presbyterian minister.
Still, Hicks is clear that the lessons of economics do not
always line up easily with the teachings of Jesus. The "Christian
economic ethic we find in the Bible is focused primarily on an
economy based on person-to-person relationships." So many of the
things Jesus said ("Give to whoever asks" comes to mind) seem
impractical in a global economy where half the population lives on
less than $2 a day but most of us never spend significant time with
people outside our economic class and education bracket.
What are we to do with the particular instructions from Moses
and Jesus about how to handle our money? Hicks's answer is that the
witness of scripture as a whole calls us to shift from
"econocentrism" to a God-centered view of life that "acknowledges
the importance of economic well-being without making it ultimate."
By their very nature, markets do not believe that all people are
created equal. They assume instead that every dollar is equal. But
a God-centered perspective invites us to see that of God in
everyone. The trick is somehow to harness the power of money and
leverage our access in the global economy for the sake of people
who are overlooked and excluded.
Hicks admits that this is not easy. In every sphere of our
material lives, a shift is needed—from acquisition to
development, from the pursuit of happiness to the pursuit of
well-being, from breadwinning to stewardship, from wasting time to
Sabbath delight. Hicks should be commended for getting practical at
both the global and the household level. (The ONE Campaign is good,
but so is microlending; simplicity matters, but so does gender
justice.) Like healthy eating, economic faithfulness, by Hicks's
account, is hard but doable. Every shift is movement in the right
direction. We're on a journey. Best to celebrate progress, even if
it comes in small steps.
—Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Christian Century, 5.4.10
From the earthquake in Haiti to the healthcare debate in America, there are questions of cost. People of faith wonder, “How much do I give and to how many charities?” or, perhaps, “Is it my responsibility to pay for the provisions of others?” According Douglas A. Hicks, a scholar with training in both economics and theology, Jesus spoke of economic issues more often than other “worldly” topic. And yet Christians (and the world) all too easily discount biblical wisdom as quaint, archaic, or irrelevant for our global economy.
In the latest addition to the Practices of Faith Series, MONEY ENOUGH: Everyday Practices for Living Faithfully in the Global Economy (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint; February 2010; $17.95; Paper; ISBN: 978-0-7879-9775-5), Hicks identifies and explores the nine economic practices -- from work and play to desire and providence to saving and giving -- that shape our daily lives and how they are an inextricable part of stewarding God’s creation.
For people who seek to unite their Monday through Saturday lives with their Sunday devotions, MONEY ENOUGH offers thoughtful reflections for connecting Christian faith to economic life in a world of both unbridled consumerism and widespread poverty. Hicks’ practical insights go further than simply rejecting the market or accepting its excesses. Readers are encouraged to engage with their daily pressures, questions, and anxieties of economic life and look to the source of their faith for answers.
In this especially perilous economic time, MONEY ENOUGH – which means simplifying for some and a matter of survival for others - shows how money is a necessary, but not sufficient, part of an abundant life.