God and Mammon

Chapter 1: Seeking a Christian View of Economics

Chapter 1: Seeking a Christian View of Economics

February 20, 2021

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat… Genesis 3:17.

The present world system commonly defines economics as the study of human material welfare from the perspective of money and the production of goods and services.1 In contrast, a Christian/biblical view of economics begins with God’s creative genius (also endowed to human beings) and the wise management of God’s household (the root of “economics” is the Greek work, oikos, which means household and family).

But when human rebellion entered in, and beyond, the Garden of Eden, God judged the earth and man’s work, resulting in a curse that informs and frustrates all human activity. Any economic system that excludes the existence of this judgment, or ignores what God requires to overcome it, will inescapably diminish human flourishing.

This realization is difficult, even for Christians, because we don’t readily make daily economic decisions based on the understanding that we are created beings purposely placed in a created world, at a specific location and time, by an omnipotent Creator.2

Clearly, any effort to enhance human flourishing must start with a firm grasp of our created reality and the purposes of our Creator. Therefore, before evaluating how a biblical economy might compare to world systems like capitalism, socialism or communism, a Christian must first embrace the nature of reality and the forces that influence human action.

In order to explore a biblical view of money and production as it pertains to human material welfare, the posts of this blog will also address reality as defined by God. We live in a created world where two opposing kingdoms are engaged in an ongoing conflict that affects every aspect of life. Both kingdoms have a spiritual nature that is manifested in the material realm. The interaction of the spiritual with the material is continuous. No wall of separation exists.

This conflict of kingdoms invariably affects human flourishing on a daily, personal level. One kingdom operates by revelation and renewal, the other by deception and regress. One by empowering, the other by dominating. One by giving, the other by accumulating. One by voluntary consent, the other by coercion. One by building on truth, the other by deconstructing what is true. One by embracing reality, the other by pursuing its own anti-reality.

If we desire for our families, communities and nation to flourish economically, then we must first flourish spiritually by seeking God’s kingdom and following his ways. Otherwise, believers unwittingly embrace economic systems based on the pattern of the world (Romans 12:2) that inevitably lead to the triumph of the curse and the kingdom of this world’s anti-realities.

The God and Mammon blog does not presume to have the definitive answers concerning a biblical view of economics. Instead, the goal is to dislodge the debate amongst Christians that has become stuck on either defending or advocating for competing economic systems of the world. The kingdom of God does not operate in the ways of the world, and only God’s ways will overcome the consequences of the curse and create human flourishing because only God’s ways directly address the true nature and causes of the curse.

Our hope is to initiate a genuine conversation that honestly seeks human flourishing by recognizing that God, as revealed in the Scriptures and the person of Jesus, is the only true arbiter of reality.

Thanks for joining us as we seek his ways.

Coming:  Chapter 2 – Two Kingdoms, But Only One Reality

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1 A basic definition of economics is “the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind.”  Dictionary .com
2 Acts 17:26 – From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
 
By |2021-11-02T03:18:44+00:00February 20th, 2021|Categories: God and Mammon|

About the Author:

David Kullberg (DavidKullberg.com), with his wife, Kelly, co-founded Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE4America.org) and Finding God In (FindingGodIn.com). David is the author of the novel, Breaking Babel, and the nonfiction book, Winning the World: An Invitation to the Church Courageous.