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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Thinking Critically about Bono and The Poor

Great comments by Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll, thinking critically (in the best sense) about some of the things Bono has been saying lately. Here's a snippet:
When it comes to the issue of rich and poor there is a great theological debate. On one side is Prosperity Theology which essentially says that if you are a holy person with enough faith you will drive an Escalade with rims in Jesus’ name.

But what appears to be even more popular among younger missionally minded Christians is an overreaction to Prosperity Theology, called Poverty Theology, where if you really love Jesus you will live very minimally because, like Bono, you believe that Jesus loves the poor, likely more than the rich.
Now, do yourself a favor and go read the whole thing...


At 12:42 PM, February 21, 2006, Blogger Anne said...

Thanks so much for passing that along. I linked to it on my blog. Good stuff!

At 3:51 AM, February 22, 2006, Blogger RC said...

Bono's really saying some wise things about spirituality and Christianity these days.

Thanks for posting this.

--RC of

At 9:59 AM, February 28, 2006, Blogger CM said...

Great link, and really intresting stuff.

I think it's really vital to incldue our relation ship with the poor in ther discussion though. For example, if I choose to by styuff that isn't fairly traded, then I am in a way contributing to the poorness of the workers that produced it, and therefore acting un-rightously.

While I can't honestly say that I think the logic of Poverty Theology holds and better than the Prosperity Alternative, the only solution seems to be that God loves everyone regardless of material wealth, and as Christians we are commanded to help relieve suffering where-ever we can. I'm convinced that "God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house…", but He is also at the other end of the spectrum as well.

Perhaps we need to stop focussing on the material and start looking for God's perspective - and I'm fairly sure that includes confrounting the injusticies and unrightousness in our world that keep people poor.

At 12:25 PM, February 28, 2006, Blogger Christian said...

Hey CM, I agree w/ you - we DO need to be concerned about the poor. I think that's an area where we Christians have often fallen short.

At the same time, it's important to think about WHY we identify w/ the poor - we should care about them, because God cares about them. And he cares for them not simply because they are poor (as if that is somehow "worthy of affection"), but rather because it is such an apt picture of our true nature.

In reality, we are all impoverished and destitute (both morally and spiritually). God's goal for us is not simply to turn us into rich people (or even middle class) - he's not out to simply give us a better standard of living. He's got something far grander in view.

That attitude of God should somehow be reflected in our own attitude towards the poor - our goal should not simply be to alleviate their physical suffering, but to address their spiritual suffering as well. And I think that's at the heart of what Driscoll is cautioning against.

Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing!


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