Saturday, August 15, 2015

Economic Problems?

Dear _____:

You wrote:
‘JDD says:

1. The stock market will fall 50%
2. The real estate market will fall 40%
3. Savings accounts will lose 30% of their value
4. Unemployment will triple

I am not entirely sure what to think of this, especially since I have not lived in the US since 1981 and do not really know the on-the-ground reality of the American market and society.

But I know that if America gets a cold, Japan will get pneumonia.

Does anyone have an opinion?’
[JDD is Dale Davidson.]

I waited for other, wiser ones to reply.
Little was forthcoming.
I think this is an important question.  Perhaps one should do a Symphony on it!?
I will number my comments.
1—What has happened in other down economic times in the past?
In general, since @ 1700 we have had 2% growth in world total economy per year.  This is astonishing. (I follow North here). McCloskey, in ‘Bourgeois Dignity’ credits this to the economic and rhetorical support given to traders and innovators, in an environment of prudence, temperance, justice, courage, faith, hope, and charity.
To start to answer 1--, I would say that in some areas and times of raid change, the church grows. Seoul has been in rapid change, and yet has more Ph.Ds per capita than any other place in the world, and Pastor Cho had a church of 800,000, with 24,000 small groups.
Also, Africa has been rapidly urbanizing, and in the last century, Christians have become 46% of the population, rather than 10%. Jenkins attributes this to the search for the tribal village in the city, the church being the new one.
2—Wesley, some say, in the reason England had an Industrial Revolution. Lack of a Wesley, they also say, is why the French had a different kind of revolution. Combine 1—and 2—and some actions are indicated.
3—Any system set up against the Trinity will be struck down.  We pray that: ‘Thy kingdom come’. We also pray—we should pray this in a litany—1 Timothy 2: 1-4.  This is basically that the civil authorities leave us in peace to do our work.  Thus, concentration on one’s calling, and that of each congregation member would seem to be indicated.
4—Now, several say that this is the greatest time of revival in the history of the church. David Field, David Watson (of 80,000 churches in 15 years), Jenkins maybe, North in ‘Beating the State,’ etc.  A good task would be a booklet entitled something like ‘What We’ve Learned and Lost in 18 Centuries—and What’s Left to Do’. 12 of each could be listed.  These 3rd Century Christians, without paid pastors or buildings, are going to go through things ‘we’ve’ been through.
5—Another nike (sic, conquering) thing would be this: How about a life work of 'Comedic Construction,' that is, if Deep Comedy ends in marriage, then it could be that the 'joykes'--jokes that bring great joy--in the Bible are the forming of which, in response to which, we are to build.  Find a culture's jokes, find how to disciple it... . I am not kidding. One likes 'I brought my own bananas,' another likes/joys in 'An officer shall always be attired appropriately for the sport in which the officer is engaged'. And good sermons resonate with The Great Joyke  of Providence, and Romans 8:28, etc. Bledsoe has a great joyke point in his 'Alinsky' book--demonstrates presuppositionalism, a short history of thought--that the 'judgers' are judged by how they judge. 
Not 'study,' or 'analysis,' but the filling of forming. Construction. Response. Respondeo etsi mutabor.
6—There’s Luther’s Thesis 94, of course.
7—One final point about JDD. He wrote somewhere, sometime, that nothing was going to come out of the ‘dusty ghost towns of western Iowa’. But Opus 3 was done in Guthrie Center, which would definitely be one. Perhaps ‘in season and out’ is more appropriate.
Love in King Jesus,
Charlie ‘TwentySix Four’ Hartman
PS: Barzun’s ‘Dawn to Decadence,’ especially the epilog, and Creveld’s ‘Rise and Decline of the State’ are worth perusing.

PPS: More on these all if you want.

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