Guest / Limited Access /

What does the economic crisis mean for God's work in the world? It's a question we ask every day at Christianity Today as we plan our coverage.

Actually, that's not quite right. What we are asking is more like, "What does today's economic crisis mean for God's work in the world?" There seems to be a new one every day: subprime mortgages, frozen interbank lending, a shrinking global economy, a popped housing bubble, banks in bankruptcy, and so on.

With many stories changing so rapidly, we have devoted significantly more resources to covering the financial crises online ( than in print. Among the issues we have looked at recently are

  • how Christians on Wall Street are praying and ministering to each other
  • what implications the government's bank bailout has for the relationship between church and state
  • and whether America's economic system is really driven by greed.

Still, the financial crisis we are most interested in hasn't significantly changed for decades: giving. In this month's cover story, CT editor at large Rob Moll examines new research from some of our favorite sociologists. Two of the three researchers, Christian Smith and Michael Emerson, were part of our October 2000 cover story on evangelicalism and race, and Smith's 2005 book on teen spirituality not only changed youth ministry, but also gave us a memorable description of America's true majority religion.

If Smith's phrase for that religion—"moralistic therapeutic deism"—became the Christian buzzword after the publication of Soul Searching, Passing the Plate may get us talking about "comfortable guilt." The researchers describe it as "living with an awareness and feeling of culpability for not giving money more generously, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

More from this IssueDecember 2008
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only God's Other Good Book
'God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it.'
Recommended5 Surprising Spiritual Benefits of Owning Less Stuff
5 Surprising Spiritual Benefits of Owning Less Stuff
Minimalism was meant to help our finances. Here’s how it helped our faith.
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickWhy I'm Not a Conscientious Objector
Why I'm Not a Conscientious Objector
I can't condemn war in the way my Anabaptist friends so quickly do.
Christianity Today
Comfortable Guilt
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.