Guest Blog by Elder Nigel Holloway
Member of Public Witness
Member of Trinity Presbyterian Church

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”  Second letter of Paul to the Corinthians   9:8

One of the most important messages of Christ is that God created the Earth to be full of abundance if we act as good stewards. I see this in my garden, where the soil, the sun and the rain bring forth an unending supply of goodness. And I see it in society, that when we lift up the poor, the struggling, the handicapped, we all gain.

For too long, our society has taught us to believe in a zero-sum society, that if we redistribute wealth and income to certain people, then we must take away resources from others. This is the pizza theory of economics: you can only give a bigger slice of the pie to one group by reducing the size you cut for another group.

St Louis is a victim of this zero-sum thinking: the White community must keep as much of the pie to itself and leave the African-American community mired in poverty. You only have to compare house prices north of the Delmar divide with those south. We all suffer from this division; we all gain by removing it.

But God teaches us the opposite way of thinking: there is always more than enough to go round. He designed it this way. He created a world of plenty, as long as we sustain the world and share its bounty.

I am reminded of this by a new book “The sum of us: what racism costs everyone and how we can prosper together,” by Heather McGhee. McGhee is a descendant of enslaved people and, quite rightly, sees that Black Americans are the primary victims of racism. But part of the premise of the book is that racism has exacted an immense cost for white people, too.

One of her examples: all the municipal swimming pools that were closed in the 1950s and 1960s to prevent Blacks sharing in the amenity, even if it meant that whites could not enjoy them either.

We all lose when we live in an unjust society and we all gain when we achieve justice for all. If we all work in partnership for the good of all, God’s abundance will be there for us all. There is more than enough to go round.

This thesis applies to an infinite range of possibilities. If women were paid the same as men for the same job, we would all be better off. If everybody wears masks, observes social distancing and receives their COVID vaccination, society will be healthier, faster. After reading this little essay, consider all the ways we fall into a zero-sum mentality and “we rob Peter to pay Paul.” This way of thinking inevitably puts us at odds with others. We think we can only win when others lose. And yet if we do win, the triumph feels empty and alienating. It’s also profoundly un-Christian. We’re all in this together, thank God.

Elder Nigel Holloway
Member of Public Witness
Member of Trinity Presbyterian Church



  • Posted July 6, 2021 5:04 pm
    Junie Ewing, Rev. Dr.


  • Posted July 6, 2021 5:09 pm
    Diane McCullough

    Nigel, I agree whole-heartedly. We need to learn to share. Our new St. Louis Mayor’s dedication to supporting development north of Delmar is a good start. The DRAWP Committee is recommending that we buy Black and invest in businesses that support diversity, equity and inclusion. Supporting urban farming is another good way to work together.
    Thank you for this testimony.
    Peace and Blessings

    • Posted July 7, 2021 12:41 am
      Thirza Sayers

      I’ll add an alleluia to that Amen. Thank you for your post, Nigel, and for your comments, Diane. Having lived north of the Delmar divide for 8 years, I whole heartedly agree that society would do better with more equity. I am certainly for a win-win, but also I believe as Christians we are called to put the marginalized first and be motivated by that, inspired by Christ to be generous and less concerned with keeping score.

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