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May 01, 2009


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Wes Vander Lugt

Michael, thanks for posting on this important question. I think it is crucial, however, to understand poverty as much more complex and comprehensive than economic need.

I believe that poverty is a culture that results from broken relationships with God, self, family, community, society, and environment, and therefore poverty as physical, economic, political, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, familial, and cultural elements.

I have written more on our blog, where we track our life and work with Armonía in Mexico. You might be interested in this post on a holistic response to the holistic problem of poverty:


Rick McGinniss

I really think you are on to something with the observation that poverty is the norm and therefore the right question is "what causes prosperity?"

FYI, I'm currently doing a message series on shalom (right now I'm just focusing on the personal & internal). Posts like this one plus many others on your site are very helpful in clarifying my thinking.

Michael W. Kruse

Rick, you always are doing such interesting sermon series. Do you ever publish or podcast them? It seems like a I came across one of your sermons online awhile back.

Chris Harrison

In a living, breathing, dynamic economic system, long term thinking should help us immensely. When we do this black or white thing with poverty and distribution of goods, we're stuck in crisis management--always behind the curve, ten steps behind, etc. Like all economies, I think that we would be well served to begin to think ahead, beyond distribution, and imagine ways for forward looking sustainable transformation. You hit on this in the Amartya Sen paragraph. Good stuff!

Thanks for the post...solid and thought-provoking.

Rick McGinniss

Michael, all of our messages in the past two years are here:


Before that, they are here:


I'm still planning to go into the economics of shalom/prosperity later this summer or early next fall. Should be fun!

Rick McGinniss

I'm not sure why that first link got crunched. It is ...


I also put it so that you can click on my name to get there.

Michael W. Kruse




Thanks for the links.

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