Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Cato Institute talks with Jay Richards about Christianity and capitalism

Did you know that the libertarian Cato Institute has a podcast? I like listening to it, even though I am not a libertarian on many issues. But I like their views on economics, government and liberty. I think that they are right on issues like school choice, consumer-driven health care, and global warming skepticism. In the episode of their podcast below, they interviewed Protestant theologian and philosopher Jay W. Richards on the relationship between Christianity and economics.

The MP3 file is here. (10 minutes)

The guy who does these podcasts is named Caleb Brown. Now, with a name like “Caleb”, I always thought that he must be some sort of Christian. Well, it turns out that he is a Quaker. And this is a shock, because Quakers are actually pretty socialistic on economic issues. But it turns out that Caleb is as concerned as I am that Christians are not more inclined towards capitalism. The fit between Christianity and capitalism is much more natural than with secular socialism.

Further study

To learn more about the relationship between Christianity and capitalism, check out this post (the second half is on capitalism).

Excerpt:

To understand what capitalism is, you can watch this lecture entitled “Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem” by Jay W. Richards, delivered at the Heritage Foundation think tank, and televised by C-SPAN2.

[…]If you can’t see the Richards video, here is an audio lecture by Jay Richards on the “Myths Christians Believe about Wealth and Poverty“. Also, why not check out this series of 4 sermons by Wayne Grudem on the relationship between Christianity and economics? (a PDF outline is here)

And you can listen to Ron Nash’s course on Christianity and economics.

What should Christians believe about economic policy and social justice?

The best resource I know of is this course from Dr. Ronald Nash. (H/T Apologetics 315)

Advanced Worldview Analysis
by Dr. Ronald Nash (24 Lectures) – RSS / iTunes

Here are the individual topics:

  • Lesson 1 – Introduction Play Now
  • Lesson 2 – Liberalism and Conservatism Play Now
  • Lesson 3 – Political Positions Play Now
  • Lesson 4 – Statism and Anti-statism Play Now
  • Lesson 5 – Evaluation of Statism and Anti-statism Play Now
  • Lesson 6 – Justice Play Now
  • Lesson 7 – Capitalism and Socialism Play Now
  • Lesson 8 – Interventionism Play Now
  • Lesson 9 – Defense of Capitalism Play Now
  • Lesson 10 – Economics Play Now
  • Lesson 11 – Marxism Play Now
  • Lesson 12 – Real Accounting Fraud Play Now
  • Lesson 13 – Socialism and Capitalism Play Now
  • Lesson 14 – Money and Wealth Play Now
  • Lesson 15 – Poverty Play Now
  • Lesson 16 – Liberation Theology Play Now
  • Lesson 17 – The Religious Left Play Now
  • Lesson 18 – Representatives of the Evangelical Left Play Now
  • Lesson 19 – Inflation of Rights Play Now
  • Lesson 20 – Legal Positivism Play Now
  • Lesson 21 – Environmentalism Overview Play Now
  • Lesson 22 – Types of Pollution Play Now
  • Lesson 23 – Problems with Public Education Play Now
  • Lesson 24 – A Possible Solution Play Now

This course is most wonderful thing in the world.

And if you like it, you may also like those debates with James Crossley, Richard Bauckham, Michael Bird and William Lane Craig on the historical Jesus. I have been listening to those debates non-stop and I really enjoy listening to both sides. I think it is really interesting hearing James Crossley explain his historical concerns about orthodox Christianity.

How is Christianity different from other world religions?

Peter Sean Bradley comments on the Hindu/Christian debate I posted yesterday. The debate really showed the difference between how Hindus view religion and how Christians view religion. I thought one of his points was particularly interesting.

Peter Sean Bradley writes:

According to Professor Philip Carey, Christianity is unique in the religious-sphere because of its obsession with the person of Jesus.  Because Christianity is about a person, it is essential to know who that person is, which therefore puts a heavy emphasis on doctrine, specifically correct doctrine, about the person of Jesus.  Christianity is thus a faith rather than simply a practice and faith – being intellectual adherence to ideas – are by definition exclusive.  One can, for example, be faithful to many things, until there is a conflict among those things, and then the true faith has to be determined. This is the reason for the Christian obsession with orthodoxy, i.e., “correct belief,” rather than some Christian proclivity for hair-splitting.

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:12-14:

12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

Basically, Christianity is the only religion that stands or falls on a historical event: the resurrection. Either it happened or it didn’t. And the job of every individual is to test for themselves and act accordingly. Christianity is about truth – what really happened. If people are just interested in religion to comfort them, or to spur them towards good deeds, or as a cultural/ethnic identity, or as a set of rules and rituals, then they cannot be Christians.

Consider the words of Jesus from John 18:36-37, when he is being questioned by Pilate:

36Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

37“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

And it turns out that Hindus are not the only ones who tend to think that religion is not about propositional truth. Peter Sean Bradley cites this interview with Paula Fredricksen, a Jewish historian who specializes in ancient history. Paula says that even Judaism is not exclusive in the sense that it required pagans to abandon other gods in order to worship in the Jewish synagogue.

My experience dealing with Jewish believers is that they have one of two views. The ones I’ve met were either cultural Jews who are functional atheists, or they believed that a religion is “true” so long as it results in good works. In my experience, debates and apologetics are not emphasized in Judaism, (or in Hinduism). Two of my favorite radio talk show hosts are Jewish. Michael Medved (orthodox) and Dennis Prager (Reformed), have both stated this point of view on air many times.