Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery

Overview

When we start with the wrong question, no matter how good an answer we get, it won’t give us the results we want. Rather than joining the throngs who are asking, When will this economic crisis be over? Jim Wallis says the right question to ask is How will this crisis change us?

The worst thing we can do now, Wallis tells us, is to go back to normal. Normal is what got us into this situation. We need a new normal, and this economic crisis is an...

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Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street

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Overview

When we start with the wrong question, no matter how good an answer we get, it won’t give us the results we want. Rather than joining the throngs who are asking, When will this economic crisis be over? Jim Wallis says the right question to ask is How will this crisis change us?

The worst thing we can do now, Wallis tells us, is to go back to normal. Normal is what got us into this situation. We need a new normal, and this economic crisis is an invitation to discover what that means. Some of the principles Wallis unpacks for our new normal are . . .

• Spending money we don’t have for things we don’t need is a bad foundation for an economy or a family.

• It’s time to stop keeping up with the Joneses and start making sure the Joneses are okay.

• The values of commercials and billboards are not the things we want to teach our children.

• Care for the poor is not just a moral duty but is critical for the common good.

• A healthy society is a balanced society in which markets, the government, and our communities all play a role.

• The operating principle of God’s economy says that there is enough if we share it.

• And much, much more . . .

In the pages of this book, Wallis provides us with a moral compass for this new economy—one that will guide us on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.

Embracing a New Economy


Getting back to "the way things were" is not an option. It is time we take our economic uncertainty and use it to find some moral clarity. Too often we have been ruled by the maxims that greed is good, it’s all about me, and I want it now. Those can be challenged only with some of our oldest and best values—enough is enough, we are in it together, and thinking not just for tomorrow but for future generations.

Jim Wallis shows that the solution to our problems will be found only as individuals, families, friends, churches, mosques, synagogues, and entire communities wrestle with the question of values together.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael J. Sandel
"Jim Wallis argues persuasively that the financial crisis is also a moral crisis. A vivid storyteller and prophetic voice, he shows how the worship of markets has led us astray — and how repairing the economy requires a moral awakening and a new commitment to the common good. This wise and hopeful book points us toward a new economy and a more spiritually satisfying public life."
Mike Gerson
"One does not need to agree with Jim Wallis on everything to find Rediscovering Values insightful and timely. In our current economic struggles, Wallis sees an opportunity, not just for recovery, but for the renewal of important, neglected ideals. This is a needed voice at a challenging time."
Sharon Watkins
"As readable as it is challenging, this book shows us all how to build a moral recovery that is good for the family, the nation, and the world."
Eboo Patel
"I am part of a generation of young people - Jews, Muslims, Christians and beyond - who view faith as a bridge of cooperation and an inspiration for social justice. Our model is a man who has lived these values, the Reverend Jim Wallis. We are coming of age now, the Jim Wallis generation, and we are ready to change the world."
David Saperstein
"One of America's most thoughtful, provocative and powerful prophetic voices does it again. With moral incisiveness expressed in terms accessible to all, Wallis impressively weaves together, economic theory, corporate realities, cultural analysis, and religious values to put a human face on, and bring moral clarity to, our economic crisis. His delineation of the responsibilities of corporate America ought to be studied in every corporation and business school. Religious leaders of any faith looking to address the corporate responsibility in our economic crisis will find no more eloquent, incisive or morally powerful guide than Rediscovering Values."
Rich Stearns
"Is it possible to change the world's trajectory? Can we create a new moral compass in the aftermath of the recent economic crisis? In Rediscovering Values, Jim Wallis argues that the world can change when people of good faith make different choices and act collectively. Read this book and join the movement - Jim calls us, as Jesus did, to challenge the status quo by making 'kingdom' choices."
Joel C. Hunter
"Could it be that today's problems will actually bring benefit beyond mere solutions? Jim Wallis leads us to the foundational values that will not only improve our circumstances but build our character."
Leith Anderson
"Agree or disagree — Jim Wallis touches your heart, stretches your mind, and challenges your values. He thunders like an Old Testament prophet, yet he is gentle and gracious. With a heart for people and a dream for a better tomorrow, Jim Wallis looks tough times in the eye and talks of hope."
Robert M. Franklin - President of Morehouse College and author of Crisis in the Village: Restoring H
"Wallis is the most influential and visionary religious leader of our time. His broad appeal and impact are reminiscent of Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. Not only has he provided clear intellectual direction for our political, cultural, and spiritual renaissance he has launched a movement to renew the church and our democracy."
Lynne Hybels - Advocate for Global Engagement
"At this critical time in history, Jim Wallis offers a guidebook for all who long to reflect wisely on our personal and corporate choices and return to true Biblical values that offer hope to this broken world."
Michael J. Sandel — professor of government at Harvard University and author of Justice: Wh
"Jim Wallis argues persuasively that the financial crisis is also a moral crisis. A vivid storyteller and prophetic voice, he shows how the worship of markets has led us astray — and how repairing the economy requires a moral awakening and a new commitment to the common good. This wise and hopeful book points us toward a new economy and a more spiritually satisfying public life."
Mike Gerson — chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush
"One does not need to agree with Jim Wallis on everything to find Rediscovering Values insightful and timely. In our current economic struggles, Wallis sees an opportunity, not just for recovery, but for the renewal of important, neglected ideals. This is a needed voice at a challenging time."
Sharon Watkins — general minister and president of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
"As readable as it is challenging, this book shows us all how to build a moral recovery that is good for the family, the nation, and the world."
Eboo Patel — Executive Director of Interfaith Youth Core and author of Acts of Faith
"I am part of a generation of young people - Jews, Muslims, Christians and beyond - who view faith as a bridge of cooperation and an inspiration for social justice. Our model is a man who has lived these values, the Reverend Jim Wallis. We are coming of age now, the Jim Wallis generation, and we are ready to change the world."
David Saperstein — Director and Counsel of Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
"One of America's most thoughtful, provocative and powerful prophetic voices does it again. With moral incisiveness expressed in terms accessible to all, Wallis impressively weaves together, economic theory, corporate realities, cultural analysis, and religious values to put a human face on, and bring moral clarity to, our economic crisis. His delineation of the responsibilities of corporate America ought to be studied in every corporation and business school. Religious leaders of any faith looking to address the corporate responsibility in our economic crisis will find no more eloquent, incisive or morally powerful guide than Rediscovering Values."
Robert M. Franklin — President of Morehouse College and author of Crisis in the Village: Re
"Wallis is the most influential and visionary religious leader of our time. His broad appeal and impact are reminiscent of Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. Not only has he provided clear intellectual direction for our political, cultural, and spiritual renaissance he has launched a movement to renew the church and our democracy."
Lynne Hybels — Advocate for Global Engagement
"At this critical time in history, Jim Wallis offers a guidebook for all who long to reflect wisely on our personal and corporate choices and return to true Biblical values that offer hope to this broken world."
Rich Stearns — President of World Vision US
"Is it possible to change the world's trajectory? Can we create a new moral compass in the aftermath of the recent economic crisis? In Rediscovering Values, Jim Wallis argues that the world can change when people of good faith make different choices and act collectively. Read this book and join the movement - Jim calls us, as Jesus did, to challenge the status quo by making 'kingdom' choices."
Dr. Joel C. Hunter — Senior Pastor
"Could it be that today's problems will actually bring benefit beyond mere solutions? Jim Wallis leads us to the foundational values that will not only improve our circumstances but build our character."
Leith Anderson — President of National Association of Evangelicals
"Agree or disagree — Jim Wallis touches your heart, stretches your mind, and challenges your values. He thunders like an Old Testament prophet, yet he is gentle and gracious. With a heart for people and a dream for a better tomorrow, Jim Wallis looks tough times in the eye and talks of hope."
From the Publisher
"Jim Wallis argues persuasively that the financial crisis is also a moral crisis. A vivid storyteller and prophetic voice, he shows how the worship of markets has led us astray — and how repairing the economy requires a moral awakening and a new commitment to the common good. This wise and hopeful book points us toward a new economy and a more spiritually satisfying public life."

"One does not need to agree with Jim Wallis on everything to find Rediscovering Values insightful and timely. In our current economic struggles, Wallis sees an opportunity, not just for recovery, but for the renewal of important, neglected ideals. This is a needed voice at a challenging time."

"As readable as it is challenging, this book shows us all how to build a moral recovery that is good for the family, the nation, and the world."

"I am part of a generation of young people - Jews, Muslims, Christians and beyond - who view faith as a bridge of cooperation and an inspiration for social justice. Our model is a man who has lived these values, the Reverend Jim Wallis. We are coming of age now, the Jim Wallis generation, and we are ready to change the world."

"One of America's most thoughtful, provocative and powerful prophetic voices does it again. With moral incisiveness expressed in terms accessible to all, Wallis impressively weaves together, economic theory, corporate realities, cultural analysis, and religious values to put a human face on, and bring moral clarity to, our economic crisis. His delineation of the responsibilities of corporate America ought to be studied in every corporation and business school. Religious leaders of any faith looking to address the corporate responsibility in our economic crisis will find no more eloquent, incisive or morally powerful guide than Rediscovering Values."

"Wallis is the most influential and visionary religious leader of our time. His broad appeal and impact are reminiscent of Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King Jr. Not only has he provided clear intellectual direction for our political, cultural, and spiritual renaissance he has launched a movement to renew the church and our democracy."

"At this critical time in history, Jim Wallis offers a guidebook for all who long to reflect wisely on our personal and corporate choices and return to true Biblical values that offer hope to this broken world."

"Is it possible to change the world's trajectory? Can we create a new moral compass in the aftermath of the recent economic crisis? In Rediscovering Values, Jim Wallis argues that the world can change when people of good faith make different choices and act collectively. Read this book and join the movement - Jim calls us, as Jesus did, to challenge the status quo by making 'kingdom' choices."

"Could it be that today's problems will actually bring benefit beyond mere solutions? Jim Wallis leads us to the foundational values that will not only improve our circumstances but build our character."

"Agree or disagree — Jim Wallis touches your heart, stretches your mind, and challenges your values. He thunders like an Old Testament prophet, yet he is gentle and gracious. With a heart for people and a dream for a better tomorrow, Jim Wallis looks tough times in the eye and talks of hope."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439183199
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Pages: 263
  • Sales rank: 1,398,723
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Wallis is a bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, preacher, and international commentator on religion, public life, faith, and politics. He is president and CEO of Sojourners, where he is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine. He regularly appears on radio and television, including shows like Meet the Press, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the O'Reilly Factor, and is a frequent guest on the news programs of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and National Public Radio. He has taught at Harvard's Divinity School and Kennedy School of Government on Faith, Politics, and Society. He has written eight books, including: Faith Works, The Soul of Politics, Who Speaks for God? and The Call to Conversion.

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Read an Excerpt

Rediscovering Values  
ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS

The 2008–2009 economic crisis presents us with an enormous opportunity: to rediscover our values—as people, as families, as communities of faith, and as a nation. It is a moment of decision we dare not pass by. We have forgotten some very important things, and it’s time to remember them again. Yes, we do need an economic recovery, but we also need a moral recovery—on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street. And we will need a moral compass for the new economy that is emerging. That’s what this book is all about.

The Great Recession that has gripped the world, defined the moment, and captured all of our attention has also revealed a profound values crisis. Just beneath the surface of the economic debate, a deep national reflection is begging to take place and, indeed, has already begun in people’s heads, hearts, and conversations. The questions it raises are about our personal, family, and national priorities; about our habits of the heart, about our measures of success, about the values of our families and our children, about our spiritual well-being, and about the ultimate goals and purposes of life—including our economic life.

Underneath the public discourse, another conversation is emerging about who and what we want to be—as individuals, as a nation, and as a human community. By and large, the media has missed the deeper discussion and continues to focus only upon the surface of the crisis. And most of our politicians just want to tell us how soon the crisis could be over. But there are deeper questions here and some fundamental choices to make. That’s why this could be a transformational moment, one of those times that comes around only very occasionally. We don’t want to miss this opportunity.

OUR CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS PRESENTS US WITH ONE OF THOSE TIMES THAT COMES AROUND ONLY VERY OCCASIONALLY. WE DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.

For some time now, we’ve been asking the wrong questions. Television, magazines, and our whole popular culture, in ad after ad, have asked us: What’s the fastest way to make money? How do you beat your coworker for the next promotion? Is your house bigger than your neighbor’s? Are you keeping up with the Joneses? What do you need to buy next that will truly make you happy? What is wrong with you, and how could you change that? What should you protect yourself from?

Advertising has preyed upon two of our deepest human emotions, greed and fear—what do you want and what are you afraid of? Sometimes the ads answered questions we hadn’t even thought to ask, about the whiteness of our teeth and the style of our clothes, but once we saw the answers they gave us, we began asking the same questions.

This book came out of some conversations I had almost a year ago. In January 2009, I was invited to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Every morning, during that annual gathering of the world’s economic and political elites, CNN interviewed a bundled-up CEO with the dramatic, snowy “Magic Mountain” of Davos in the background. It was always the same reporter, and the question was always the same: “When will this crisis be over?” CNN actually had a whiteboard, on which each CEO would write his or her answer predicting when the economic crisis would finally end: 2009 … 2010 … 2011 … later. All the delegates to the World Economic Forum woke up every morning in their hotel rooms to that CNN discussion.

But on an unusual plenary panel at Davos titled “The Values Behind Market Capitalism,” I suggested that CNN was asking the wrong question. Of course, we all want to know when the crisis will end. But, I challenged the audience of CEOs and heads of state, the much more important question is, “How will this crisis change us?” How will it change the ways we think, act, and decide things; how we prioritize and value our success, how we do business, and how we live our lives? Yes, this is a structural crisis that clearly calls for new social regulation. But it is also a spiritual crisis that calls for new self-regulation. We seem to have lost some things, and forgotten some basics—like our oldest and best values.

I SUGGESTED THAT CNN WAS ASKING THE WRONG QUESTION.


We have trusted in the “invisible hand” of the market to make everything turn out all right, and we have believed that it wasn’t necessary for us to bring virtue to bear on our decisions. But things haven’t turned out all right, and the invisible hand has let go of some crucial ideals—like “the common good.” The common good hasn’t been very common in our economic decision making for some time now. And the situation has spun out of control.

I recited Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Social Sins to the world’s business leaders, because they seemed an accurate diagnostic for the causes of this crisis. The social sins that Gandhi used to instruct his young disciples in his ashram were:

1. Politics without principle

2. Wealth without work

3. Commerce without morality

4. Pleasure without conscience

5. Education without character

6. Science without humanity

7. Worship without sacrifice

For days after the Davos “values panel,” participants would come up to me, pen and paper in hand, to make sure they got them right.

There were other sessions at Davos on these subjects, as there always are. One was called “Helping Others in a Post-Crisis World.” It was full of the insights of social entrepreneurs and innovative philanthropists, all discussing new patterns of social enterprise—where capitalism is again in service of big ideas and big solutions, not just making money. But the session was held early in the morning in a small room, not the big Congress Hall. And it wasn’t full. New ideas of business with a social purpose have been part of Davos before, but as in the global economy, social conscience has been a sidebar to business. Social purposes were somehow extracurricular to real business. But this year, the sidebar hit the main hall of discussion as a plenary discussion on values, and went to the center of the way participants were talking about how we do business.

When you start with the wrong question, no matter how good an answer you get, it won’t matter very much. There was a shift that occurred throughout the week that you might not have seen in the television coverage, as participants began to ask a very different question: “How will this crisis change us?”

If our goal is to get back to business as usual, we will soon be right back to what got us into so much trouble, because what was usual is exactly what got us here in the first place. To go back to business as usual would be to miss the opportunity this crisis provides to change our ways and return to some of our oldest and best values.

WHEN YOU START WITH THE WRONG QUESTION, NO MATTER HOW GOOD AN ANSWER YOU GET, IT WON’T MATTER VERY MUCH.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair, who was also on the values panel, told me afterward that were it not for this deep crisis, Davos wouldn’t be having such a discussion and wouldn’t have included “somebody like you” (a religious leader). But the panel discussion on values became the buzz of the conference. And the spiritual conversations (sometimes quite pastoral and almost confessional) that followed over the course of the next few days were, for me, a real sign of hope.

The economic tide going out has not only shown us who was “swimming naked,” as Warren Buffett put it, but it has also revealed that no invisible hand is behind the curtain guiding our economy to inevitable success. It is a sobering moment in our lives when we can see our own thoughtlessness, greed, and impatience writ large across the global sky. With some of the world’s brightest minds, boldest leaders, and most innovative entrepreneurs gathered at one Swiss retreat, it seemed like a good place to start asking better questions.

This book is intended to help us do just that—to ask the right question. Again, if we start with the wrong question, it doesn’t matter how good our answer is, we’ll always end up in the wrong place. If we only ask how to get back to the place we were before this crisis began, we will miss the opportunity to stop walking in circles and start moving forward.

As I said, the worst thing we could do now is go back to normal. Our normal was, indeed, what got us into this crisis, and going back to it will just repeat the crisis over and over again. We need a “new normal,” and the economic crisis is an invitation to discover it.

THE WORST THING WE COULD DO NOW IS GO BACK TO NORMAL.

So the question that underlies this book is a simple but hard one: “How will this crisis change us?” The answer isn’t going to be found in reading the newest economic analysis, hoping for better indicators, following a political ideology, or even updating the economy. It will be found as individuals, families, friends, small groups, churches, mosques, synagogues, and entire communities wrestle with the question of values together.

We need to find where we made our wrong turns and how we got off track; then we need to face the truth of what brought on this crisis—even if that truth is uncomfortable and, especially, if some of those answers can be found in the mirror.

Our country has had times of great prosperity when the rich, the poor, and everyone in between enjoyed the fruits of their labor. Not all of our old habits, behaviors, and institutions are bad, just as not all new ones are good. We need to uncover some forgotten lessons that have served us well in the past and make sure the baby of our better choices doesn’t get thrown out with the bathwater of our mistakes.

WE NEED TO UNCOVER SOME FORGOTTEN LESSONS THAT HAVE SERVED US WELL IN THE PAST AND MAKE SURE THE BABY OF OUR BETTER CHOICES DOESN’T GET THROWN OUT WITH THE BATHWATER OF OUR MISTAKES.

To get out of a destructive cycle, to stop spinning in circles, and to break bad habits, we need a change, a different direction, new habits. When we clear the space of something old, we finally have room for something new. If we clear out the weeds, we can let the new flowers grow.

The crisis is deep and wide, and to get out, change needs to come from families, communities, and our whole society. These kinds of changes are never quick or easy solutions but, rather, long-term shifts that we must choose and rechoose every day.

We are indeed in a crisis, and it’s a global crisis—one that provides the rare opportunity to ask some fundamental questions about our most basic values. In fact, the values question lies just beneath the headlines and the media discussion about our severe economic recession. The values conversation is the one begging to be had from Wall Street to Main Street, to the back streets of American life, and to Your Street. This book is about that values conversation.

The crisis goes deeper as jobs are lost, houses are foreclosed upon, savings destroyed, and future hopes undermined. The global economy has not seen a decline of this magnitude since the Great Depression. We are in the midst of a fundamental shift in which the old foundations have shown to be nothing but the shifting sands of speculation. Lying beneath the economic measures of the market is a moral deficit that is increasingly apparent and a growing hunger to recover former values. To make sure we do not simply repeat the mistakes of the past that led to this crisis, our economic recession must also be answered with a moral recovery.

WE NEED TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE PURPOSE OF BUSINESS AND THE VOCATION OF OUR BUSINESS LEADERS IS RESTRICTED TO TURNING A PROFIT OR IF IT CAN BECOME SOMETHING MORE.

The twentieth century saw the creation and distribution of goods, services, and ideas with unprecedented efficiency and volume. But with these great advances, the moral weight of our decisions becomes greater than ever before. We need to determine whether the purpose of business and the vocation of our business leaders is restricted to turning a profit or if it can become something more. We face great challenges that need even greater ideas to overcome them. We have big obstacles that need even bigger vision to see past them. Will our business community transform itself to meet those challenges, or is it just waiting to get back to business as usual? The key will be whether the right questions are asked and whether the common good is part of the answer.

And as far as the faith community is concerned, we need nothing less than a pastoral strategy for an economic crisis.

As the polls and media pundits have pointed out, many Americans are angry about this financial crisis, angry about a rescue plan that seems to bail out Wall Street more than them, and frustrated with the lack of clear solutions being offered by politicians. But underneath the anger, there is a deeper level of fear, and I am hearing that fear from across the country. How will this affect me and my family? What will happen to my retirement funds, to the college account for my kids, to the value of my home? Am I going to lose my home or my job? When you hear financial consultants report on CNN that some of their clients are already living in their cars, you can feel the fear gripping many Americans. A friend of mine, who is also a financial planner and is now engaged in intense daily conversations with his clients, just left me a simple voicemail— “Please pray for me.”

WHEN YOU HEAR FINANCIAL CONSULTANTS REPORT ON CNN THAT SOME OF THEIR CLIENTS ARE ALREADY LIVING IN THEIR CARS, YOU CAN FEEL THE FEAR GRIPPING MANY AMERICANS.

It’s not often that most Americans are feeling the same thing at the same time, talking about the same thing, and all worrying about the same thing. The last time might have been just after 9/11. But it is increasingly clear that most Americans are now focused on the same thing. The collapse of Wall Street and what we can now call the Great Recession (the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression) has become the overriding focus of national attention.

But for people of faith, there is a second question, or maybe one that should be the first question: What is a Christian, a Jewish, or an Islamic response to a deepening economic crisis like this? What should people of faith be thinking, saying, and doing? What is the responsibility of the churches, synagogues, and mosques to their own congregants, to their communities, to the nation, and to the world? And where is God in all this?

What does the Bible say about all the issues now being raised? What does our theology tell us about money and possessions, wealth and power, credit and responsible financial choices, economic values vs. family values, lifestyle and stewardship, generosity and justice, and both personal and social responsibility? What can economists, some of whom are also people of faith, tell us about economic philosophy, the role of the market, the role of government, the place of social regulation, the spiritual consequences of economic disparities, the moral health of an economy, and the criteria of the common good?

FOR PEOPLE OF FAITH, THERE IS A SECOND QUESTION: WHAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCHES, SYNAGOGUES, AND MOSQUES?

What do pastors, lay leaders, activists, and practitioners say about creative opportunities and new solutions that could come out of all this: the possibilities of mutual aid, congregational and community credit unions, and new cooperative strategies for solving problems like health care, housing, and even jobs? How can an economic crisis reconnect religious congregations with their own communities? How might a crisis be an opportunity to clarify the mission of the faith community?

One good example of a response is the Vineyard Church of Columbus, Ohio. On Palm Sunday, Pastor Rich Nathan told his congregation, “We want to help families and individuals who have lost their jobs by taking a special offering.” The collection that followed was an amazing surprise to everyone—raising $625,000! The church is now using these funds to provide resources, coaching, counseling, and networking events to assist people with securing employment, for both its members and the wider community.1

Pastors will need help with preaching resources at a time like this, and local congregations will need adult Sunday-school curricula on money and all the related issues of this economic crisis. What about pastoral care in a time of economic crisis? How do we listen to people, be present to them, comfort them, and perhaps help them reexamine their assumptions, values, and practices? This is already a time of great anxiety for many. But it also could be a time of prayerful self-evaluation, redirection, and even new relationships with others in their congregations and communities.

This book takes up all of those questions. It is designed to provoke a wide-ranging discussion and collective discernment of the moral issues raised by this economic crisis.

I’ve listened to the economists who also are trying to address some of the fundamental moral issues of economic philosophy and policy. I’ve sought the best thinking of many theologians on the religious and biblical issues at stake. I’ve asked pastors about the realities now facing the members of their congregations and what spiritual formation means in a moment like this. And I describe the emergence of a pastoral strategy for an economic crisis.

While you can read this book by yourself, it is not meant to stay with just you. Share the conversation with your friends, your family, your coworkers, your clergyperson, your congregation, and your community. Use it as a way to have difficult conversations or as a way to change your own life and relationships with those around you. The changes that we need to make will happen person by person and also community by community. While you can read this book on your own, you can’t live it on your own.

The book is written to help spark a conversation that is begging to be had and is already occurring. It is designed to get the wider community talking, praying, and acting in this time of challenge and opportunity. It is full of stories and, hopefully, will encourage many more stories. In a crisis like this one, prophetic action is called for and pastoral care is needed. My best hope is that this book helps to begin a far-ranging conversation on the shape of both.

With this book, we have also created an interactive website, www.rediscoveringvalues.com, with a variety of resources to help people of faith and conscience respond to this historic crisis. By gathering the wisdom of many voices, we can enliven an extended community of discourse, discernment, and decisive action that could help get us through and past this crisis. We can share ideas about the practical support we can offer one another, the creative solutions we can help forge, and the prophetic leadership we can offer the country.

IN A CRISIS LIKE THIS ONE, PROPHETIC ACTION IS CALLED FOR, AND PASTORAL CARE IS NEEDED.

I invite you to join the conversation as together we offer a moral compass for a new economy. Let us learn together what it means to be responsible and faithful in a time such as this.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Asking the Wrong Questions 1

Part 1 What Were We Thinking?

1 Sunday School with Jon Stewart 15

2 When the Market Became God 27

Part 2 How We Got Here

3 Greed is Good 43

4 It's All about Me 53

5 I Want it Now 67

Part 3 What We Got Ourselves Into

6 When the Gaps Get Too, Big 81

7 On Listening to Canaries 93

Part 4 The Way Out

8 Enough Is Enough 109

9 We're in It Together 123

10 The Seventh-Generation Mind-set 135

Part 5 New Habits Of The Heart

11 The Clean-Energy Economy Conversion 149

12 The Family Matters Culture 159

13 The Meaning of Work and the Ethic of Service 173

Part 6 Recovering "The Commons"

14 Regaining Our Balance 185

15 The Parable of Detroit and the Green Shoots of Hope 201

Part 7 Changing The Script

16 A Bad Morality Play 219

17 Choices Make Changes: Twenty Moral Exercises 227

Epilogue: Notes from the Next Generation Tim King 241

Notes 247

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    Posted June 26, 2011

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