Another item for Dave Ramsey’s list of what rich people do that poor people don’t do

dave_avatarDave Ramsey recently posted on his blog a list of 20 things that rich people do that poor people don’t do (the idea being that poor people are to blame for their poverty). Among the list were that rich people write down their goals, read books, make their kids volunteer, teach good daily success habits to their children, etc. Well, I was reading through my dad’s Economist magazine last night and I found a 21st item to put on Dave’s list. Apparently it’s a growing trend for really rich people to buy expensive artwork, and, instead of hanging it up in their homes, store it in giant, tax-free warehouses in places like Luxembourg to use as investment currency instead of stocks or bonds. Continue reading

Russell Conwell: the Dave Ramsey of last century

In some recent reading I’ve been doing, I stumbled across an early 20th century Baptist preacher named Russell Conwell who went on a speaking tour around the country giving a motivational speech entitled “Acres of Diamonds,” very similar in its values and assumptions to the speeches Dave Ramsey has been giving in his “Great Recovery” tour around the country today. Many of the assumptions we have about self-reliance and individual responsibility have their origin in voices like Conwell, rags-to-riches novelist Horatio Algers, and others at the turn of the 20th century who developed what we call the “American Dream,” which wasn’t really a part of American culture in the first 124 years of our nation. Continue reading

Why God-reliance and self-reliance are utterly incompatible

I know that I got under some people’s skin for beefing with Dave Ramsey on Red Letter Christians. I’ve never been in debt. If I had and some guy’s videos helped me out of it, I would be hurt if some random cocky young blogger was hating on my hero. So I wanted to try to explain where I’m coming from and why I felt compelled to speak out. Continue reading

Dave Ramsey: great debt advice, not so great theology

Today I watched Dave Ramsey’s Great Recovery video. I think I feel something akin to what the Calvinist bloggers felt when they saw the trailer for Rob Bell’s Love Wins. I’m physically sick at my stomach. Whenever I’ve ranted about the self-worship of American middle-class evangelicalism in the past, I always thought in the back of my head that I was attacking a straw man. Well I met the straw man today; and he’s a real person and very much in the mainstream of evangelical thought. Continue reading