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This is part 2 of our series on Biblical Economics.

 

Proverbs and Free Markets

Selected Verse

An observation: According to Ronald Nash: “Almost without exception, the major evangelical books about social justice that have appeared since 1960s have been authored by writers who reject and condemn political conservatism as a cruel, heartless and uncaring movement totally out of step with an informed political view.” [1]

This leads to two questions: Is Capitalism, as one of the things that Conservative Christians cherished, unbiblical?  Does a free market economics enjoy biblical support?

 

Purpose: Today we will explore the teachings in the book of Proverbs and how the blueprint for economics God offered is one we call Capitalism.

 

  • Capitalism is Biblical since the Bible prohibit these means of acquiring goods and services:
    • Coercion (violence)
    • Fraud
    • Monopoly and statist interference
  • Capitalism is Biblical since the Bible permit these means of acquiring goods and services:
    • Hard work
    • Acquiring wealth over time
    • Sales
    • Saving
  • 4 Kinds of People in a biblical economy:
    • Biblically there are unvirtuous rich people
    • Biblically there are virtuous rich people
    • Biblically there are virtuous poor people
    • Biblically there are unvirtuous poor people

I realize the term “Capitalism” can be emotionally loaded; it is important to be specific of my definition of capitalism: “An ideal market economy in which people exchange goods and services in an environment free from coercion, fraud, monopoly, and statist interference with the exchange process.” [2]

 

Some more comments about the definition of capitalism

  • I use this term interchangeably with free market economics.
  • Capitalism is not to be confused with cronyism. According to Wikipedia this “is an economic system in which businesses thrive not as a result of risk, but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between a business class and the political class. This is often achieved by using state power rather than competition”[3]
  • Nor should capitalism be confused with fascism. According to Wikipedia this “is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe” [4]

In the end you want an economy that allows the biblical means of acquiring goods and services to be a reality versus an unbiblical means of providing goods and services which fits the definition of “Capitalism” or Free Market economics.

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This is part 1 of our new series on Biblical Economics and we begin with “Goodness of Material World.”  Besides economics this topic as a study is relevant for other areas such as a positive Christian view of our body, health and finance, or negatively against Gnostics worldview, cults, or a wrong kind of escapism, irresponsibility of Christian stewardship, etc.

Goodness of Material World

Selected Verse

Establish the need: Have you yourself said or ever heard anyone say: “The World is evil and bad, so we shouldn’t care about it and why care about learning how the world works? (Economics, History, Politics, Science, etc)”

 

Purpose: Today we will see that the Bible does not see the physical world is all bad and that it can be good so that we would desire to study and be good steward of what we are given and the responsibility we have in our own lives.

  • When God Created the Physical World it was good
  • Worship of God acknowledges the physical is good
  • Jesus is Physical

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