Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review - "Cash Values" (Craig Gay)

Title: Cash Values - money and the erosion of meaning in today's society
Author: Craig Gay
Published: Regent-College Publishing, 2004.

How do we avoid becoming a society that knows the price of everything but the value of nothing? Well, if we see life as a race to accumulate money and stuff, capitalism is remarkably productive. If we see the problems and negative sides of capitalism, chances are we will rebel furiously against it. Gay convincingly argues that if we approach capitalism with a uncritical mind, chances are we may see an 'erosion of meaning' in modern society.  The key is to see with redemptive eyes.

Gay's book is a welcome effort to correct any modern society that tends to know the price of everything but the value of nothing. It argues cogently that, capitalism for all its power to generate money, is ill-equipped to produce meaning. Without throwing away capitalism totally, Gay helps us look at it redemptively via an 'economy of shrewd stewardship.' He concludes by urging the reader not to be 'overly critical' of capitalism for its ills, nor 'overly concerned' about defending it. His proposal:
"I believe we should use modern capitalism for the sake of our fellow servants, showing them grace, forgiving their debts, unexpectedly lightening their burdens, employing whatever wealth we have - wealth that we know we cannot keep for long - in the service of fellowship and friendship. And we should place our hope in the goodness and above all in the graciousness of God, the God for whom all things are possible." (99)
Overall, this is an intelligent book, well grounded in scholarship and full of wisdom for a world that fanatically believes that money makes the world go round. No. it is the wise use of money that makes the world sound.



Commander Win-Win said...

Hi Conrade,

I can't agree with you more: the wise use of money is the key.

-Winnifred Tang

YAPdates said...

Thanks. Though many claims money makes the world go round, one can get dizzy. With wisdom, one can periodically stop, take stock and find out if that money has become a 'god.' When this happens, the quickest way is to give it away, and use it to bless others.


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