Sunday, 21 August 2016

Property rights and human flourishing

"The lesson of economics is clear. If we want to promote human flourishing, we need social institutions that foster the division of labor, capital formation, and wise entrepreneurship. The common condition that is necessary for all of the above is the institution of private property. The more the right to property is embraced and defended, the more empowered are people to participate in fulfilling the cultural mandate God gave our first parents in the beginning." (Source:  Institute of Faith, Work and Economics)
That line of thinking is misguided because it has not taken on board the fact that the "right to property" ican be argued to be a man made one. Therefore very much a second best. A more serious point is that no one has a right to property as such because God owns everything. Though property rights have their benefit, it is also arguable that in a fallen world, pushing people to embrace "property rights" could simply promote idolatry. We need a rounded view of what comprises human flourishing.

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2016

Saturday, 20 August 2016

One Minute Lessons (Lesson 23)

Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth! This is what the Lord says: “The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me. Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them"

ISAIAH 1:2-3

Lesson:

The emotional pain expressed in this verse reminds us that our sins break God's heart.


Hiphop on the human condition

My ghetto ties got me living my life in pain
See the world knows, we gonna be thugs forever

You can take me out the ghetto, but you can't make it better
See the status of your money done changed
But the status of your danger remains the same
I need to clear my head of these evil thoughts
And teach Magnolia and Gateway what I was taught
Take a ride with me to eternity
And watch me live to see another century
COREY 'C-MURDER' MILLER

('Ghetto Ties' from the 'Life and Death' album)
These interesting lyrics are penned by an incarcerated hiphop artist* . I find that hip hop artists express the depravity of the human condition in such profoundly honest ways. In those few words, Corey 'C-Murder' Miller not only captures that something is rotten within him, but that he cannot get salvation without such an inner transformation. Money cannot end the pain and danger he faces in this world. He is crying for help from another place. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Fruitful Work

As a child I used to hear the phrase, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. It was a daily reminder that work is good for us! And yet, there is something in all of us that loves to eat, sleep and play. The BBC reported this month that a man in New Zealand recent quit his job to play Pokemon Go full-time. Tom Currie worked at a seaside restaurant, but has decided to pack it all in to find digital creatures on his phone instead. He says he is relying on friends and family to help him out. His story has gone viral and now he is very famous for quitting work and just playing Pokemon Go.


Paul writing to the church at Ephesus reminds that rather than just stealing and Facebooking all day we must work: “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28). Work according to Paul is “doing something useful with [our] own hands”. In other words, doing something that adds value or is fruitful!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Honest Living

Earlier this year, the American musician Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was summoned before a Judge in the US to explain his lifestyle. The reason for the Court summon is that last year 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy saying he couldn’t afford to pay debts of between $10m and $50m. 


The only problem is that a cursory look at his Instagram feed reveals a very different impression of his life. In one photo, 50 Cent is photographed buried under $100 notes, presumably struggling to find his feet. In another photo he has stocked his refrigerator with bundles of dollars. This naturally baffled his creditors. How can 50 Cent claim to be bankrupt when his  Instagram profile shows that he is  drowning in money?