Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Our Problem with Alms

Why is it that anytime evangelical Christians sit down to talk about giving to the poor, the conversation consistently and immediately jumps straight to 2 Thessalonians 3:10? The Bible is literally full of commands to give to the poor, to care for the poor, to make sure the poor are treated justly and with compassion. However, the one thing we are most worried about, the thing that most petrifies us, is that we might accidentally give some money to someone who has not been properly vetted and found to be above suspicion of laziness. In other words, we are far more worried about possibly giving something to the "undeserving" poor than we are about possibly failing to give to the "deserving" poor.

I think, given our culture of consumerism, that  most of us (myself included) fail by not giving enough of our substance to those in need, not by giving with too much liberality and prodigality. So I'm just throwing this thought out there for my readers. Do you agree that we focus too much on the danger of giving to a lazy person and too little on the basic requirement to give? Or do you think the evangelical Christian world has a good balance on the issue?

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