Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Opus 2017-219: A Building Block of Civilization

One of the fantasies of our modern age is “back to nature”.  We have people who think that life would be so much better if we were all raising our own food, making our own clothes and free from the demands of modern society.  Although I salute people who want to simplify life and minimize their dependence on industrial society, it is a dream that would only mean misery and suffering to most people who try it.

Picture what it would be like for a family to be totally isolated.  Think about growing your own food.  You would make everything yourself and do everything yourself.  That means that unless you are a miner, ore processor and blacksmith you would not be able to have any tools that were not made with local wood and stone you gathered and chipped yourself.  You would need to learn how to tame and train animals to pull the wood plow you made yourself or have a lot of children to hook up to the self made harness.  And of course, where would you get your seed?  And have you ever seen a vegetable garden with no pesticides?  And all of these specialties would need to proceed at the same time. 

One of the greatest boons for living in comfort and plenty is the step our ancestors made with a division of labor.  Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations put it this way,
“The greatest improvements in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment, with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour.”  (Kindle Highlight Location, 108-10)
He gives an illustration with a simple tool called a pin.  You know, the straight pins that the tailor used to hem your pants.  He says that one person working by themselves would have a hard time making twenty pins in a day, yet with the division of labor and the machines involved ten men could make 48,000 in a day. (Kindle Highlight Location, 130-31)

Think about the simple things we take for granted:  Aspirin, pencils, rubber bands, gasoline, or oatmeal.  Add to that all the complex luxuries we consider necessities:  Air conditioning, radio, microwave ovens and skateboards.  All of these come to us because of the increased productivity from the division of labor.

I don’t know what you contribute but you are part of the mosaic that makes modern civilization and gives of longer and healthier lives.

Smith, Adam.  An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Book I, Project Gutenberg download.

homo unius libri


  1. What's lacking on both ends of the spectrum is balance (or common sense, if you prefer).

    1. Which is where liberty and the free exchange of goods and ideas comes in. Each of us should be able to decide how rustic we want to be without forcing someone else to join us or pay for our choice.

      Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.