Wendell Berry authors a characteristically provocative article in this month's issue of The Progressive. It made we wonder if the editors understood what he was writing, or if they're just open-minded enough to include this perspective, one that skewers a leftist vision of big government just as surely as it skewers a corporatist view of big business.

Berry argues, rightly I think, that we live in an upside-down economy in which consumption is the alpha and omega point.

"In a so-called economy that is dependent on indiscriminate spending, ‘job creation' often implies an ability to ‘create' new ‘needs'," he writes (and all those suspicious quotation marks are really important).

Berry writes: "A society in which every school child ‘needs' a computer, and every sixteen year-old ‘needs' an automobile, and every eighteen year-old ‘needs' to go to college is already delusional and is well on its way to being broke."

Berry's on to something important in the economic arena, but what he's saying here is, I think, much more relevant to the more significant economy of the local congregation.