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Jul 21, 2008


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Danny Gamache

Good post Michael,

Stackhouse's book sounds like it is something I should read. I'll have to put it on my list (unfortunately my list gets pretty long!). I like the idea of Shalom, or the idea of Kingdom, as the unifying thought for our ideal world progress.

Certainly we need to look at things in a historical context, and I would also have problems with the pessimistic attitudes that many have when they look at our world.

We need to praise God for the Shalom that we find in this world, and focus in on bringing Shalom to the rest of the world.


Michael W. Kruse

Thanks Danny. Stackhouse's book is one of the best books I've read on dealing with ethical questions. I count it among the most important books I've ever read. I reviewed it here

The biggest resistance I get in discussing this topic is the presumption that I must be some (evil) neoclassical economics, "End of History" like, nut job to suggest the world has been and is improving.

We'll see how it plays out with the coming posts.


Your question about how we define Shalom is highly relevant, because it seems to me that by any rational historical standard humanity is materially much better off now than ever before.

The most common trait I find in these assessments is that they are usually thoroughly ahistorical. They are without context.

It's getting increasingly difficult for me to believe that that those who rely on an ahistorical argument do so for any other reason that the fact that the source of their dissatisfaction with the world is political.

For some Shalom and global free market captialism are contradictory ideas.

Michael W. Kruse

Van, I don't doubt that there is an element of truth to what you say. But I also think that most people simply are not aware of how profound and quickly change has been happening.

The status of emerging nations has changed radically since I was in grad school 20-25 years ago. Many still see the world in terms of developed nation and poor nations as it was thirty years ago. In fact, there is a whole gradation of nations from poor to rich with many in a positive state of flux while some are in great peril.

I'll try to give those with whom I disagree the benefit of the doubt because I've known too many who were sincere but in error. However, I've also met many of the characters you describe as well. (But of course, I totally rule out that I could be in error on some of this *grin*)

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