Tag: economics

We Have a Mandate to Act: Stories from BAM Global, Part 3

Arleen Westerhof initiated the European Economic Summit. Since 2014, Christians active in the area of business, economics, and policymaking have gathered yearly in Amsterdam. Before starting the EES, Arleen prayed fervently for influential Christians to rise up. She now witnesses answers to these prayers: “I see skilled and anointed followers of Jesus Christ all around the globe involved in social…

Book Review: Suicide of the West

Our society is sick. The United States is obviously in tumult with sharp divisions between Red and Blue with the litmus test being which political party one thinks is treasonous. Surely there is some mush in the middle, but it would be a happier world if the simplistic generalization were farther from the truth. And, though the unhappiness of our…

Economic Wisdom and the Future of the Church: 5 Useful Principles

By Charlie Self  In seminary classes and seminars, informal conversations and large conferences, I enjoy asking pastors, church planters, and revitalizers this question: “As you plant and revitalize, have you given any prayer and thought to how your congregants will eat in the next 10-20 years?” This query is met with puzzlement. These gifted and sacrificial men and women are prayer-walking,…

The Top Ten Books on Faith and Work—An Updated List for 2018

By Hugh Whelchel It’s been nearly six years since IFWE published our first “top ten” list of books on faith and work. Since then, we’ve seen additional great books published that we want to bring to your attention. We’ve updated our “top ten” list with books that powerfully and creatively explain the biblical meaning of work. They are all rooted in…

Book Review and Interview: Redeeming Capitalism

Note: This book will be launched tonight with a special event at the Chicago Faith at Work Summit. Many subjects can move a conversation in an unintended direction as the result of preconceived notions or baggage associated with the material. One topic that is often difficult to discuss for this reason is capitalism. I am pleased that Kenneth Barnes has…

Karam Forum Mini-Talks

Reprinted from the Oikonomia Network

Each session at Karam Forum 2018 was hosted by a leader from our community who framed the session with a 7-8 minute mini-talk. Like our Economic Wisdom Project Talks, these mini-talks are packed with catalytic insight. Check them out below and mark your calendars for Karam Forum 2019, featuring Miroslav Volf, David Miller and Mark Greene!

Vincent Bacote: “Seminaries or Cemeteries? A Mission as Big as Life Itself”

Vincent Bacote told the audience that, being in Los Angeles, they were sitting not far from the most influential seminary in the world: Hollywood. The movies win hearts and minds by showing people an imaginary world on a screen for two hours. Theology may not have big special effects budgets, but it can do something even more impressive than the movies; it can show us the real world. Bacote argued that theological education needs to recover a sense of how big the mission of theology is – a mission as big as the whole world, as big as life itself. Only then will it reverse its reputation as a storehouse of lifeless abstractions and decaying formulas.

Greg Forster: “Discovering Oikonomia: A Christian Life of the Mind”

Introducing Charlie Self, the event’s closing speaker, Greg Forster described how his conversion to the faith as an adult forced him to reevaluate what it meant to live the life of a scholar and educator. In a universe where God cares about building bridges and feeding the hungry as much as he cares about knowledge and insight, how can we have a Christian life of the mind? Forster argued that reason must have a place in the oikonomia theou, God’s plan for all things, because we use reason to discover the oikonomia theou. Everyone in the kingdom of God, in all vocations, has valuable knowledge; nonetheless there is an indispensable role for those who live the life of the mind – as Self put it, raising up poets and prophets for God’s people and world.

P.J. Hill: “Theology and Economics: Getting Past Cognitive Dissonance”

P.J. Hill shared the story of his journey as an economist who slowly discovered that moral and even theological questions were not secondary to his discipline; they were right at the heart of it. From a starting point where he struggled to connect his faith to his economic studies, producing “cognitive dissonance,” Hill eventually concluded that economic understanding had to begin with questions of justice, rights and morally ordered desires. Hill also described some insights the economic discipline provides on market economies that can inform theological evaluation of their functioning, such as the role markets play in coordinating social activity among people who don’t know each other well.

Chris Armstrong: “Flourishing: More than Souls on Sticks”

Gremlins sabotaged the audio feed at Karam Forum 2018, but this memorable mini-talk will be re-recorded and released at a future date – stay tuned!

Chris Armstrong argued that a well-rounded Christian view of human flourishing is essential to the faith in the coming generation. Too often, the church has treated people as if they were “souls on sticks” – addressing their eternal fate, but not their whole lives. Many young people leave the church today not because they think Christianity is false but because they think Christianity is irrelevant to anything they care about; our problem is not so much “intellectual atheism” as “practical atheism.” Bringing in delightful wisdom from C.S. Lewis and pointing to its origin in the earlier ages of the faith that Lewis studied, Armstrong made a case for Lewis’ maxim that “because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world better than those who know no other.”

The Best Laid Plans of Many People Gang Aft Agley This Week

This week, Acton University is taking place in Grand Rapids, MI. The Green Room’s grand plan was that I could go and blog the AU experience for you, paying special attention to sessions related to an ambitious new theology of work edited by Trey Dimsdale and R. Keith Loftin. We’d then follow up with a review of the book on…

Brian Fikkert: The Church and Economics

Getting richer is not making us happier. At the 2018 ON faculty retreat, Brian Fikkert of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development spoke to why that is, why it represents a radical challenge to the narratives that dominate the discipline of economics, and how the church can help people recover a holistic anthropology as a basis for economic thinking and…