Last night I went to a lecture and responding lecture hosted by the Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The lecture, presented by Jordan Ballor, was entitled “Theology and Economics: A Match from Heaven?” The response came from Stephen Long.
Read more about this lecture here.
View video of the lectures here.
The following are some thoughts and notes I wrote down during this discussion.
Jordan Ballor // Thesis – That economics and theology are fundamentally compatible and mutually dependent. A continued separation or divorce between economics and theology would be harmful. We need economically informed theologians and theologically informed economists.
Christians should have a fundamentally critical-prophetic stance against any and all political-economic ideologies while simultaneously being very cautious and uneasy about affirming or proposing any political-economic ideology (and certainly refusing to do so without nuance, qualification, or caveat)… let alone deify it as many seemingly have done.
Read this article– “Carl Henry Was Right” by Richard J. Mouw.
See this article entitled, The 15 Best Colleges for Studying the Bible.
Two statements about my school, Trinity International University, that I found interesting:
(1) “The student body and professoriate are intentionally diverse, allowing for an international flavor, and a heightened sense of ‘global missions.'”
— Absolutely true. And I love this!
(2) “Some students will find the political leanings of the school to be too liberal, with notable tones of ‘social justice’ and ‘globalism.'”
— That some would find TIU too political liberal is probably somewhat true as well. And I tend to think this reality relates to the first statement (directly above). However, this perception isn’t the same thing as TIU actual being politically liberal. That’d be a tough case to make given our incredible diversity. Nonetheless, I believe our diversity and international composition resists a narrow-minded approach to politics, whatever that approach might be. And I appreciate this about Trinity as well.
Just a shameless plug for my school.
There are several areas of theology about which I find myself thinking on a consistent basis. One of those topics is the integration and relationship between the Christian worldview and political-economic science. (This probably isn’t terribly surprising given the fact that I entered college as a social studies major.) Lately, I have found myself thinking about these issues again… and on a frequent basis as well. This has much to do with some recent studying I’ve been doing on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His views on government and the Christian’s relationship to government has sparked this internal conversation ablaze within me once again. …Well, some of these thoughts will now be spilling out in this post.
I would like to recommend to you a lecture I was privileged to hear at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School via the Carl F.H. Henry Center. The lecture was presented by Dr. Paul Metzger and was entitled Downward Mobility and Trickle-Up Economics: A Trinitarian Reflection on Money and Power. In this lecture Metzger presented a critique and examination of the typical American evangelical-fundamentalist view of economics, namely capitalism, and calls for a “capitalism of a higher order.” For example, he states, “While evangelicals are engaging increasingly [in] enterprises towards the poor, they’re not advocating for political policies that would fight against the structures that make and keep people poor.” And he points out what he sees as an inconsistency between the Fundamentalist-Evangelical rejection of evolution and its survival of the fittest but acceptance of capitalism and its survival of the economic fittest.”But would it not be difficult to challenge genetic determinism and natural selection if the [evangelical-fundamentalist] movement is conflicted, promoting an equally deterministic and naturalistic [economic] system.” “Evangelicals as a movement could not be an outspoken opponent because it often assumes the free and unregulated market economic narratives as gospel truth and embraces it with blind faith. . . . Evangelicals don’t simply assume the the market’s gospel-truthfulness, they champion it.”