The pure American Dream

Russell Moore:

Many Christians – and I’m one of them – have been very critical of the tendency to confuse the kingdom of God with the “American Dream.” Insofar as the American Dream is defined as more shopping and more consumption, the critique stands. But, at least originally, the idea of the American Dream wasn’t consumerist at all. It was instead the notion that anyone, without regard to nation of birth or social class or caste, could work hard, play by the rules, and make a better future for his or her family. The central thrust of this dream was that your children could be better off than you are. That’s other directed and future oriented, not selfish. And it’s not uniquely American. Almost every culture in the world includes parents who aspire to see that their children exceed them in education, opportunity, and prosperity. That’s the reason the immigrant sanitation worker saves up to send her child to college. There’s something heroic about that. Behind that impulse is the basic idea of inheritance, sacrificing yourself so you can lift up those who come after you. (138)

From Tempted and Tried

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