Tim H. reviews new book on Christianity and capitalism at Rational Thoughts

The book review is here on Rational Thoughts.

Excerpt:

Capitalism’s reputation has taken a beating in light of the recent financial crisis.  According to politicians and pundits from both sides of the spectrum, capitalism is to blame.  Not so, say Austin Hill and Scott Rae, who argue in their new book The Virtues of Capitalism that capitalism is our best bet.  In fact, according to Hill and Rae, capitalism “remains the preferred economic system, even the necessary economic system, for any society that upholds a true sense of human rights.”

Hill and Rae approach economics from a distinctly Christian perspective, showing capitalism to be both consistent with and supported by the Bible’s teachings.  Contrary to some, the sharing of goods as described in Acts does not advocate socialism.   The sharing of goods was voluntary, as opposed to forced.  Moreover, the authors show that economics itself is deeply intertwined with moral issues.  Economic conditions can act as a powerful motivator either to encourage or discourage virtuous conduct. “[B]e honest and ask yourself: Is it ever more difficult to be the kind of spouse or parent that one aspires to be, when the economy is slow and personal finances are scares? … [W]hen finances are plentiful, can the enjoyment of material goods enable a person to avoid or neglect other important areas of their relationships?  And a final question… can economics impact one’s relationship with their God.”

[…]Overall, it’s a great and easy to understand book.

Tim likes the book “Money, Greed and God” by Jay Richards better, but that’s a tougher book to read – not for beginners. I’m shocked because I didn’t figure out my worldview regarding economics until my late 20s. Tim is a high school junior. Yipes! He must have good parents.

I recommend this new capitalism and Christianity book for courting Christian women, who are usually fiscally liberal until they get married and start families. It’s only 160 pages and it should be enough to convince any horrible socialist to give capitalism a chance. I also switched to “On Guard” for courting instead of the more difficult “Reasonable Faith”, at least for a first book. No sense scaring her off with something hard right at the start.

7 thoughts on “Tim H. reviews new book on Christianity and capitalism at Rational Thoughts”

  1. “Hill and Rae approach economics from a distinctly Christian perspective, showing capitalism to be both consistent with and supported by the Bible’s teachings.” Really? This I have to see. I live in a world that is very pro-capitalism and most often very Christian. In this world,I see a blindness to the needs of our neighbor for the sake of personal greed shrouded in “what is good for the community.” I will put this on my “wish list” and hopefully give it a look.

    -jack

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    1. Dude, can I come live with you in your world? Where is world that is “very capitalist” and “very Christian”? I take it that in this world there is a flat tax and abortion is illegal? Please, tell me!

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  2. Wintery Knight, I don’t claim to be an expert on capitalism or Christianity. Even with my limited knowledge, I don’t think you can define any position with a simple reference to “flat tax” or “abortion.” However, in my most recent post I do make some comments on abortion that might not be in line with your assumptions of Christians. It is titled “Who is Defining What it Means to be Pro-life.” http://wp.me/pBhtB-6H My beef is that many Christians blindly adhere to capitalism without any rational thinking as to how it applies to what they say they believe. Just as people blindly embraced slavery, people often accept all tenets of capitalism at the expense of others–example, healthcare.

    -Dude

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  3. He’s right. 20 years ago we had more powerful states and less free market. Now we have more free market than we had and 1% of the population filthy rich and 1 billion for the first time in history with so little they can barely eat properly. For me that’s an offense as a human being and as a follower of the teachings of Christ. Frankly I am very tired of laisser-faire capitalism and I’ll do everything it takes to end it.

    My astonishment comes from the certainty that the Bible does not endorses capitalism in no way, no matter what the book says! I know the Bible.

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  4. LOL! There you are again thinking in black and white Wintery! I admire your knowledge Wintery, but sometimes you can’t leap forward. Maybe because you have too many certainties?! I despise North Korean regime. I already told somewhere else that the best states in the world are probably Denmark and Norway… Even your neighbor Canada is not bad at all. I’m not against capitalism, only “laissez-faire” capitalism.

    Scandinavian nations are not communists. And I don’t believe there are only two political systems that can be applied.

    I go even further in my thoughts. I’m sure my ideas are utopic. In a perfect world we don’t even need government, police or the army. However most of humanity would have to abolish greed from the dictionary and had to live almost like Jesus lived. Then yes! We’d be close to the Biblical political system!

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