Myths Christians Believe about Wealth and Poverty

Event Date: 
August 23, 2007 - 12:00pm

David Cassard Room 161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503


For Christians, compassion for the poor is a non-negotiable. Compassion alone, however, doesn’t help the poor. In fact, manyideas that Christian leaders advocate really exacerbate the very problems they were intended to solve. So how do we insure that we not only mean well, but also do good?

We have to learn to think economically about wealth and poverty. At its base, economics isn’t supply/demand charts and complicated math. Rather, the “art of economics,” as Henry Hazlitt puts it, “consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” One way to do this is to learn to recognize eight simplemyths that many well meaning Christians commit when they think about wealth and poverty.

Short bio of the speaker

Jay W. Richards is research fellow and director of Acton Media at the Acton Institute. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy and theology (with honors) from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was formerly a teaching fellow. He also has a Th.M. from Calvin Theological Seminary, and an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He is the author of many scholarly and popular articles, as well as several books. His most recent books are The Untamed God: A Philosophical Exploration of Divine Perfection, Immutability and Simplicity (InterVarsity Press, 2003) and The Privileged Planet: How our place in the cosmos is designed for discovery, with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez (Washington D.C.: Regnery, 2004). The Privileged Planet is the basis for the popular documentary, “The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe,” which has aired on many PBS affiliates in the US.