Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t You Think?

IMG_5366

Unlike the Alanis Morisette hit, “Ironic”, which was in fact not at all ironic, I have come across some ironies in my work that strike me as worth mentioning and perhaps exploring more in depth. The world we live in seems full of these strange paradoxes, but they come in to stark relief in development […]















The DIY Lifestyle™

IMG_5366

Through our family’s journey to live more in tune with the planet and our neighbors we have gained a lot of new skills in the last few years. My wife has learned how to brew kefir, make cheese, knit, make bread and a lot of other food from scratch. I’ve built some things from scratch, […]















Two Kingdoms: Low German Mennonites in Charagua, Bolivia

IMG_5366

This may not relate much to the general topic of this blog (though that’s never stopped me before), but it does have to do with my work in Bolivia. By the end of this post I might find a way to tie it back to food, theology and consumerism. Under the new Bolivian Constitution there […]















The New World Religion

IMG_5366

When considering a metaphor for describing a reality that is inherently difficult to grasp, it can be easy to lose your grip on the thing to which the metaphor points. The authors’ of Affluenza follow their metaphor closely and it works for the most part. The best part of their metaphor is that it makes […]















Affluenza: Treatment

IMG_5366

The third part of the book Affluenza explores the idea that consumerism is a disease in terms of its treatment. While I have some reservations and criticisms, which I will address at the end, the authors put their finger on some very important issues and ways to change our consumer culture. Aspirin and Chicken Soup: […]















Affluenza: Causes

IMG_5366

The second part of the book Affluenza considers the causes of the disease of consumerism. Honestly it seemed somewhat lacking in depth. This is a complicated issue. Consider simply the question “What are the causes of poverty?” Books upon books have been written trying to describe the causes of one of the symptoms of our […]















Consumerism: Disease or Religion?

IMG_5366

The book (which was originally a series on PBS) Affluenza uses the metaphor of disease to try and understand the modern world, in particular the consumerism of North American culture. Following this metaphor the book is divided into three sections: symptoms, causes and treatments. Among other things the book is a pretty amazing compilation of […]















The Presence of Absence

IMG_5366

This poem is too short to quote from and make any sense. So, I will quote the whole thing. “The Want of Peace” from Openings (1968) by Wendell Berry All goes back to the earth, and so I do not desire pride of excess or power, but the contentments made by men who have had […]















Small Is Beautiful: Organization and Ownership

IMG_5366

The final section of E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful continues his critique of the economic system by scrutinizing the concept of ownership. He also gives real world examples of the ways he imagines an alternative arrangement of the economy working out. Systems are never more nor less than incarnations of man’s most basic attitudes. Some […]















The Dream

IMG_5366

I have dreams when I am sleeping that I cannot understand and are not publishable for a family audience. I also have dreams for my life and the world, visions of the way things should be. In the poem “The Dream” from Openings (1968) by Wendell Berry the poet imagines the convergence of both kinds […]