In 1991 Pope John Paul II released Centesimus Annus, an encyclical defending a humane, free-market economics that bows to the moral and cultural spheres of life. “People lose sight of the fact,” the pontiff wrote, “that life in society has neither the market nor the state as its final purpose.” This invites us to consider where we are and what we’ve become on several levels. Removing both the market and the state from the equation leaves so many of us both wandering and wondering. What a statement. If Southern Seminary president Al Mohler is right—and I believe he is—when he concludes that our economy is a moral reality; that we actualize our moral selves in making economic choices, then our present economic state is more indicative of our collective morality than it is a matter of math, be it simple or not-so-simple math.
But what is simple is this: the current economic crisis that shows no signs of going away fast if forcing us to reconsider our assumptions—namely, the assumption that giving into our whims and desires is only a function of economic means with no other variable or recourse. The moral reality here is that we are not guarding our hearts as we have been instructed to do. It could be that we have become sick at heart, the national economy being the symptom. Read more about it here.