Le mal français? - That is the cover story of the leading newsweekly, Le Point. “What Is Wrong with France?” is a rough translation. What do you think? This great country, with its rich heritage of Christian culture, heartland of the Reformation, revolutionary thirst for human rights, Impressionism, the New Wave in cinema, most beautiful city in the world: Paris, most desirable place to live: France...
What could be wrong? Misguided foreign policy? An over- protective welfare state? Lost youth? Secularization? These are good guesses. But the conclusion of the Le Point cover story is simpler... Debt! Indeed, whereas under former president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (1980) the budgetary deficit was a mere 1.2 billion Euros (1.7 billion Dollars) today, under president Sarkozy, the amount is 135.5 billion Euros (196 billion Dollars), and counting!
Still, the brilliant editor of this magazine, Claude Imbert, tells us that behind the debt crisis is a spiritual one. He calls it an addiction to “always more.” Somehow, no one has told French people that money is a finite commodity. He quickly adds that this is a Western problem, not just a French one. Most countries are desperately covering up the crisis with rescue operations of all kinds. But now, the hour of truth is upon us. It’s time for penitence, he says!
What better diagnosis could we ask for from a basically non- religious magazine? But what greater remedy than simply the Gospel? That is what the Faculté Jean Calvin stands for. Too simple? Too formulaic? Not at all. The “good news” is that “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). His real wealth will never put us in deficit! And it’s free!
Very Truly Yours,
William Edgar, President
P.S. If you live nearby, do come to the Chairs for the Chair event September 16, at the Philadelphia Country Club, 7:00-9:00 pm.