Via Ex Machina 2.0

Ten years ago, I started Via Ex Machina as my personal blog: a place to share my “periodic thoughts on the intersection(s) of life and faith.” Today, I would like to invite you to the new incarnation of Via Ex Machina: The Way Out of the Machine.

The new site is an expansion of this blog so that (1) my wife, Kristen, and I can both share our learning and experience from fifteen years of doing ministry together in diverse communities and (2) so that other fellow pilgrims who, like us, have discovered that the journey of the Christian faith is far more than a personal walk with Jesus might have a platform to share their reflections on worship, justice, the arts, and what it means to love God and neighbour within the raging currents of our present age.

All around us, long established assumptions and institutions are crumbling, evolving, and some are becoming twisted and knotted in the process. The North American Church is one such institution. In the last 75 years the church as we know it has been transitioning from a civic establishment into a consumerist franchise. Neither form of church has proven adequate, however, to theologically or socially prepare Christ followers to handle the upheaval we are experiencing because both manifestations of church serve as mimics of culture rather than prophets to it.

That simply won’t do if the church is to be the church Christ calls it to be. That’s why we’ve created Via Ex Machina 2.0.

We’re called to be different – not in the way Coke is different from Pepsi or Nike is different from Adidas, but fundamentally different in our priorities, values, and purposes; not deluded by “alternative facts” but oriented to an alternative standard of weights and measures, the standard held and set by God so that God’s will might “be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Via Ex Machina is our effort to help you, and us, take strides in that direction by wrestling with the deep and complex questions that arise at the confluence faith, culture, politics, the arts, and ministry.

To this end, we’ll have articles, videos, and eventually podcasts and a monthly newsletter to help us grapple with Scripture and the realities of 21st century life in the Western world. On ViaExMachina.com you will find book reviews, poetry, devotional materials and other creative resources for your self, your community, and your church.

Stay up to date with posts by following Via Ex Machina on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest sermons and studies.

The people of Jesus weren’t called to form an institution. They were called to follow a Way: a way of love, a way of justice, a way of purpose – valuing all people, not as commodities or conformities, but as human beings made in God’s image with whom God seeks to dwell and through whom God can and does speak.

Thank you for your support these past ten years. I look forward to your feedback on our new endeavor, and to continuing the journey with you.

Basic Economics “Tool Kit”

Below are links to websites, videos, and articles I have found helpful and informative as I have tried to understand the economics of economic disparity. I hope you will find them helpful as well.  I’ll keep adding sources as I discover them.  If you have suggestions to add, please leave a comment.

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Economics for Dummies Cheat Sheet – self-explanatory

The Economic Policy Institute – a non-partisan, economics research think-tank focused on the concerns of low- and middle-income earners.

Plutocracy Now – a series of charts from Mother Jones magazine tracking the development of grotesque wealth inequality from a variety of angles.

Stock Analysis on Net – a good site for researching corporations (quarterly and annual reports, etc).

Best Economics Blogs – a catalogue of influential economics blogs from the Wall Street Journal. Worth exploring.

Capitalism Run Wild – a conversation between Bill Moyers and economist Richard Wolff

Inequality for All – a conversation between Bill Moyers and Robert Reich about the film, Inequality for All, and the issues it addresses.

Federal Deficits and the Economic Recovery – a debate between Joe Scarborough and Paul Krugman moderated by Charlie Rose

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