21 Mar 2010

Should Christians Fear the Boom-Bust?

Religious 3 Comments

Two housekeeping notes: The blog is still under construction, and the post title is a geek reference to this.

Growing up I didn’t read the Bible much at all, especially the Old Testament. So although I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior (on April 16, 2002, if I’m reconstructing the date correctly), I still didn’t really know very much about these matters.

One of the series at Hillsdale United Brethren (our church when I was a college professor) centered on, “What do you fear?” So they showed clips of people saying standard stuff that Americans would say, and of course there were the obligatory funny things like some lady saying “I fear looking at the bathroom scale! aaaa!”

I don’t remember exactly what my opinion was at the time, but I imagine I would’ve thought something like this: “These are all petty, narcissistic things. You should be afraid of significant things like people dying, or better yet, people dying without hearing the gospel. Or, you should be afraid of being tempted into sin, and so you should fear the traps of the devil.”

But our pastor said that these types of things were the wrong answer, that the one healthy thing to fear was the Lord. At first this struck me as odd; isn’t Jesus supposed to be my good buddy? But the more I read the Bible (and listened to sermons from people who had studied the Bible a lot more than I have) the more it made perfect sense.

With that background, I was blown away by the following passage when I read the book of Job a few weeks ago. After he has lost everything, Job lectures his friends who originally came to console him but end up chastising him:

Job 28:12-28 (New King James Version)

12 “But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?

13 Man does not know its value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living.

14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;
And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’

15 It cannot be purchased for gold,
Nor can silver be weighed for its price.

16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
In precious onyx or sapphire.

17 Neither gold nor crystal can equal it,
Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold.

18 No mention shall be made of coral or quartz,
For the price of wisdom is above rubies.

19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
Nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20 “From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?

21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
And concealed from the birds of the air.

22 Destruction and Death say,

‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’

23 God understands its way,
And He knows its place.

24 For He looks to the ends of the earth,
And sees under the whole heavens,

25 To establish a weight for the wind,
And apportion the waters by measure.

26 When He made a law for the rain,
And a path for the thunderbolt,

27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.

28 And to man He said,

‘ Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.

3 Responses to “Should Christians Fear the Boom-Bust?”

  1. fundamentalist says:

    Nice post! Reminds me of the difference between wisdom and intellect, and Hayek’s “Fatal Conceit.” People can be well-educated and have great intellects and still not have wisdom. And some can have great wisdom without the intellect. That’s hard for intellectuals to acept.

  2. Kris says:

    Such a great post and no love for Prof’s Ritenour’s new Christian based text “Foundations of Economics.” ????

  3. Beefcake the Mighty says:

    So, Bob, what do you think of these idiots who confuse the modern Zionist state of Israel with Biblical Israel? Pretty contemptible, yes? How come liberal Jews, who otherwise hate Sarah Pailin with a super passion, never mention that she flies an Israeli flag in her office?