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Simple Living, Dave Ramsey, and Personal Finance for Christians

NOVEMBER 2012: ESSAY by Martha LaBarge and Todd Steen In the wake of the recent economic crisis, many Americans have found themselves in dire financial straits. Our financial decisions have resulted in crippling credit card debt, huge stockpiles of consumer purchases, and an epidemic of underwater mortgages. As the baby-boom generation ages, few have saved enough to finance their retirement. Christians are relatively indistinguishable from non-Christians in terms of personal finance decisions. We struggle to make ends meet. We worry…

Born to Shop

DECEMBER 2008: ESSAY by Todd Steen and Steve VanderVeen Introduction "Born to shop." This is the credo of our consumer culture. According to the world, shopping is all about making ourselves feel good, and fulfilling ourselves through obtaining possessions. By default, without thinking about it, we take a humanistic perspective and try to satisfy our ultimate need for meaning by focusing on ourselves. Instead of remembering how scripture defines us, we let the marketing world define us. In a world…

What to Do About Wal-Mart?

JULY 2006 What to Do About Wal-Mart? by Todd Steen and Steve VanderVeen Even though eight in ten Americans shop at Wal-Mart, it is one of America's most reviled retailers. According to a recent Zogby International poll (26 December 2005), fifty-six percent of Americans agree that "Wal- Mart is bad for America." Christians as a group seem similarly conflicted about the chain, as their actions range from an active embrace of it through casual use to concerted opposition. So what…

Will There be Marketing in Heaven?

The Bible tells us that we are to anticipate a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13). In this new heaven and new earth we read that we will plant vineyards and eat their fruit, build houses and dwell in them, and that we will long enjoy the works of our hands (Isaiah 65:22-23). Before we call to God, he will answer us, and while we are still speaking he will hear us (Isaiah…