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On Wealth and Poverty: St. John Chrysostom
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On Wealth and Poverty: St. John Chrysostom

(Popular Patristics Series #9)

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  27 reviews
This great orator addresses the question of wealth and poverty in the lives of people of his day. Yet Chrysostom's words proclaim the truth of the Gospel to all people of all times.
Paperback, 140 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press (first published January 1st 1984)
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Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in what happens after we die
This is a collection of six sermons (on the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 16:19-31) by St. John Chrysostom (c. 347–407) an important early Greek Church Father, Archbishop of Constantinople, who was known as ‘Golden-Mouth’ for his eloquence of preaching.

I could certainly see how he earned his reputation. Each sermon builds on the previous and reads in a familiar spoken voice. You can almost see and hear St. John delivering his address to the people of his time.

He obviously knew his c
After finishing Basil the Great's On Social Justice, I tackled John Chrysostom's On Wealth and Poverty, seven sermons on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. While not as directly challenging as Basil's work, it is still an enriching read. It is clear why Chrysostom was known as a great preacher. Where Basil is blunt and to the point, Chrysostom is full of beautiful prose. He even had to tell people to stop cheering for his sermon and actually apply it to their lives.

My favorite thing about
Adam Ross
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics, theology
A good set of sermons from the church father, John Chrysostom, concerning the parable of the rich man and the poor man Lazarus. There wasn't really as much about economic wealth and poverty as I thought there would be. What there was here was very good. Chrysostom is always challenging, and his views on wealth was no exception. He argues that the affluent rich are obligated to help the poor. Those rich people who spend their wealth on themselves beyond caring for their family are actually steali ...more
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Remarkably lucent and accessible for a 4th century text (or perhaps, more credit is due to team performing English translation text).

A short book (~140 pages) featuring 6 sermons of church father John Chrysostom on a single parable -- the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (not the Lazarus Jesus raised from the dead, but the festering boil Lazarus that went to Heaven whilst the rich dude behind the "gates" festered in hell, getting his just deserts in the present life).

Timely missive, with the
Timothy Bertolet
A series of sermons on Luke 16 and the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In a day and age where we often equate riches as a sign of God's blessing and poverty as a sign of God's neglect, Chrysostom brings a sobering and convicting reminder that this is not the case.

Reading this treasure from church history brings personal conviction particularly for those situated in an American church that is culturally affluent and often well-to-do financially. Chrysostom speaks boldly against sins that are
Jul 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Takes the strength of Christ's words on wealth and poverty and applies them directly to the lives of his people. If only the church could remember its roots on this topic...
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Of the more important collection of sermons to be read in our day.
Ryan Jankowski
On Wealth and Poverty is a compilation of 6 sermons on Lazarus and the rich man (sermons 1 through 7 with the exclusion of 5) by John Chrysostom. It is spectacular that so many of Chrysostom's sermons have been preserved as they provide a wealth of insight into what preaching looked like in the 4th and early 5th century. A radically different cultural and economic context to be sure, but he communicates a message that transcends those things.

Overall Chrysostom has what I would deem a healthy vie
Misael G
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who needs Marx to critique American understandings of the good life, materialism, and wealth when you have St. John Chrysostom?

"Not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth but theirs."
John Coatney
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A series of homilies on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Humbling and thought-provoking.
Jim B
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, classic
How often do you come across thoughts that you have never encountered before? Especially if it is in an area that you specialize in?? These four sermons on the story of the Rich Man and Poor Lazarus are filled with observations and thoughts that were fresh to me, which is amazing when you consider that St. John died in A.D. 407!

Of course, I was raised in the approach that an interpreter should not read more into a parable than Jesus (or the teller) intended to be the point. But Chrysostom is not
Sep 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Comprised of a series of seven sermons on the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), John Chrysostom takes meandering sermons to a whole new level. There's not a stitch of exegesis in these sermons, and there is a high level of social commentary. Incidentally, these are things I decry in modern sermons. However, in written form these sermons read well, and Mr. Chrysostom's eloquence, wit, and candor shine brightly. He does an excellent job at provided vivid examples and illustrations of his point ...more
Kristie Soliman
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orthodox
This is a book of St. John Chrysostom’s sermons on the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man from Luke 16. He goes line by line through the parable as he himself suggests, “We ought to be interpreters even of syllables. ‘Search the Scriptures,’ it is written; for often, one iota or one dot awakens an idea.”

St. John Chrysostom sees God’s mercy in everything, even His punishment. He constantly praises almsgiving and places almsgiving at the pinnacle of virtue.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful set of sermons on the parable of Lazarus and the rich man that detail practical applications of Christian theology with regards to charity, justice, providence, and the after life. St. John's ability to tap the short parable and reveal the depth of it's wisdom could be considered valuable in its own right, even for unbelievers. The introductory portion of this book gives a concise, but useful, overview of the profound Orthodox saint and the historical context for the sermons.
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Capitalism recognizes the truth - that wealth is transitory, that its source is creativity, courage, and technological adventure. Nevertheless, it is important to stay grounded, and remember how the world used to be, and can be no matter how optimistic you are of the future. Things change by the blink of an eye - one day you're rich, the next day you will have nothing.
Justin Aldrich
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
This is a collection of sermons about Lazarus and the rich man written by St. John Chrysostom. His eloquence and clarity are matched only by his passion and convictions. This book convicted me a lot and really helped reshape my view of social justice.
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
convicting. classic. recommended.
Tim Newcomb
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Written in the late 4th century, Chrysostom's Homilies on the story of Lazarus deal with Divine Judgement, Social Justice, and the fleeting life of the individual. Here Χρυσόστομος covers Social Justice, Soteriology, Hamartiology, Ontology of the Soul, and Necrology.

Spontaneous Charity and Social Justice

Chrysostom spares no words in condemning the greedy and ambitious wealth collector. He writes that seeking to be rich is a sin that leads to death and is the practical denial of the Gospel. He
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A must-read for any Catholic. "This is why God has allowed you to have more: [...] for you to distribute to those in need. [...] For his own goods are not his own, but belong to his fellow servants." "Fill your belly so moderately that you may not become too heavy to bend your knees and call upon your God."
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orthodoxy
"The Golden Mouth" at his best!
Excellent book that definitely encourages self reflection as to how we treat the less fortunate in our culture. The book, which are a series of sermons on Lazarus and the Rich Man given by St. John Chrysostom around 388-389 AD, can be summed up with the following quotes from the text.

"If you cannot remember everything, instead of everything, I beg you, remember this without fail, that not to share our wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not p
Joe Wittwer
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
John Chrysostom (Golden Mouth) is widely considered the greatest preacher of the fourth century. This collection of sermons on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus reads well today. Many of the issues are current, and John's preaching is bold, insightful, Biblical and confrontive. This is not only an educational look back at fourth century Christianity, but also bracing Biblical teaching on wealth and poverty. Great stuff!
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
St. John gives out good meat and potatoes contains several sermons on the story of Lazarus and the rich man. A very basic reminder about how divine justice is distributed here and in the hereafter. It reminds people suffering here to be grateful for being purified. Just a good solid reminder or a good basic sermon.
Herman Tyler Ward
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
St. John's sermons are as hard hitting now as I am sure they were when he first spoke them. This is a book that every Christian should read, especially Americans. It will make you uncomfortable with any amount of wealth you have and give you a great desire to help others.
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Some very insightful elements. Some elements that I perhaps don't fully grasp.
Luiz Rens
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Pimen Mojzes
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John Chrysostom (c. 347–407, Greek: Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος), Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death in 407 (or, according to some sou ...more

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“This is why God has allowed you to have more: not for you to waste on prostitutes, drink, fancy food, expensive clothes, and all other kinds of indolence, but for you to distribute to those in need.” 8 likes
“Our Lord’s things they are, from whencesoever we may obtain them. And if we distribute to the needy we shall obtain for ourselves great abundance. And for this it is that God has permitted you to possess much,—not that you should spend it in fornication, in drunkenness, in gluttony, in rich clothing, or any other mode of luxury, but that you should distribute it to the needy. And just as if a receiver of taxes, having in charge the king’s property, should not distribute it to those for whom it is ordered, but should spend it for his own enjoyment, he would pay the penalty and come to ruin; thus also the rich man is, as it were, a receiver of goods which are destined to be dispensed to the poor—to those of his fellow-servants who are in want. If he then should spend upon himself more than he really needs, he will pay hereafter a heavy penalty. For the things he has are not his own, but are the things of his fellow-servants. 5. Let” 1 likes
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