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A
riveting talk was given by John Eldredge, author of the popular Wild at Heart, at a major
conference audience. It was punctuated from the Gospel of John with movie clips from the
likes of ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Last of the Mohicans.’ The major theme was that Christians were naive
as to the reality and severity of the daily battle between good and evil that is taking place all
around us. I couldn’t help but think the major arena where that battle is taking place for many
of us is in our fi nances.
We live in a materialistic environment. Webster’s Dictionary defi nition of materialism is, ‘The belief that
everything can be explained by physical matter.’ That is a theological statement. It denies the existence
of the spiritual or transcendental. That makes materialism more than just another ‘ism’ that happens to
lure people into consumer debt and fi ll their marriages with confl ict and so on. It is nothing less than a
competing theology with a god called money.
The battle with this competing theology is played out in several ways. One is in the practical, day-to-day
arena of our lives. The battle there is manifested by such negative consequences as consumer debt,
relational stress and confl ict, guilt and shame and embarrassment.
A second venue of the battle is in our spiritual lives. There we come face-to-face
with the realities that we cannot serve both God and money, that
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