29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Freakonomics (updated edition) by Stephen J. Dubner & Steven D. Levitt.
Best book on the mildly confusing topic of economics and economic theory and how it intersects with real life. Where else are you gonna learn about the interlinks between real estate agents & the Ku Klux Klan? Or on the topics of why drug dealers are so rich but yet still live with their mothers and how one’s name affects how well one does in life?
Picked this up at Borders in the Hay St Mall in Perth last Monday and it’s been one helluva fascinating read thus far.
On another topic, the September 2007 issue of Monocle has a great article on Christian retail trade (pages 98-101) at the 2007 International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta, GA. Somehow I just cringe when I see photos of a booth for “Scripture Candy™” with the abominably distasteful tagline, Reaching The World One Piece At A Time! Or a photo of a bouncy inflatable “Noah’s Ark. When I read the paragraph about evangelical Jews (a.k.a. Jews For Jesus) making toy figurines of characters from the Old Testament (“Who wants a Rambo-looking Moses or Samson???”), a little part of me feels like spewing up all over the place.
I can understand the place of the Christian retail channel, but by gosh this is one big parody of the secular retail channel which at best is a good imitation of it (some products are needed, like Bibles and other books by publishers, most of what appears in Koorong and Word catalogues these days seems to be dross), but most of the stuff available is another way for Christians to be as materialistic as the secular world without feeling as guilty about it. I mean who needs a pack of lollies/chocolate made by Allens (here in Australia) or Hersheys when instead we can go and get the Christianized version instead (i.e. “Scripture Candy™” or “Testamints”)?
+ bf 1740hrs