Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Stories About Money

Regular readers may know that I'm sympathetic to Hugh Nibley's description of money as "congealed wickedness," so I couldn't help but laugh--and think deeply--when a couple of stories recently caught my attention in which money became an important substitute for something like faith or love. Consider, for example, the recent example of an entire town in Cambodia which converted to Christianity in order to save money

It's tempting to celebrate these conversions and the capitalist logic that inspired them, but I suspect that such a celebration would risk placing the end (conversion!) before the means (capitalism)--and I very much believe in a God of MEANS, who is more concerned with how we enter the waters of baptism than with the fact that we made it in. And as long as we're talking about money, it's worth noting that while converting to Christianity might save Cambodians money, that saved money likely won't improve the quality of their marriages. 

According to researchers at Brigham Young University, a strong interest in wealth bodes poorly for prospects of marital happiness: 

I'm not quite sure how to synthesize these two stories about money and its impact on our prospects for happiness or heaven, but I feel confident in saying that money is a more complex phenomenon than Nibley's snarkily glib quote suggests. What say ye readers--anyone willing to take a vow of poverty in exchange for improved prospects of marital bliss? Interested in shopping for a church that will save you tithing money?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Great Are the Words of Isaiah: Site Shift

All entries in my recurring series, "Great Are the Words of Isaiah" will now be hosted at a content-specific site: Check out the inaugural post now--and I'll be migrating previous Isaiah essays from this blog soon.