February 8, 2016

By Stephen Schmalhofer Adam Smith, that venerable a supporter of free enterprise, held businessmen in low regard, alleging that their every meeting “ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” While deference is due to the Scottish master’s lasting insights into the sources of the values of men in The Theory of Moral Sentiments and their success in The Wealth of Nations, I observe that many executives tout their “core values,” but not all of these companies… Read more

February 3, 2016

By Jordan Ballor An understanding of the rise, decline, and reinvigoration of institutions in the history of the Christian West, with special attention to the role of the church in relation to worldly authority, is necessary to properly orient a discussion of the church’s social responsibility today. This is particularly true when focusing on the legacy of evangelical churches in the North American context, which can lack historical self-awareness and conscious rootedness in tradition. The era of the Protestant Reformation is… Read more

February 3, 2016

By Joseph Sunde “The Bible has a rich desert theology…He will cause rivers to flow, even in desert conditions.” –Christopher Brooks Pastor Christopher Brooks and Evangel Ministries have demonstrated a unique model of urban ministry in Detroit, focusing not just on meeting immediate needs through traditional channels, but on fostering a vision of long-term, whole-life discipleship. In a talk for the Oikonomia Network, Brooks offers invaluable perspective from his years of ministry, concluding that the gospel has the power to bring economic flourishing to… Read more

January 28, 2016

By Joseph Sunde Conversations about justice tend to quickly devolve into debates over top-down solutions or mechanistic policy prescriptions. But while the government plays an important role in maintaining order and cultivating conditions for society, we mustn’t forget that justice begins with right relationships at the local and personal levels. In For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles, Evan Koons explores topic from the perspective of hospitality, a theme we find throughout the Biblical story. How do we approach and treat our… Read more

January 26, 2016

By Joe Carter “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction,” said President Obama in this year’s State of the Union address. Technically, the president is correct: The American economy, as a whole, is not in decline. But for most Americans, the state of the American economy is less important than the economy of their state, county, and city. “Americans don’t live in a single economic place,” says Emilia Istrate, the director of research and outreach for the… Read more

January 21, 2016

The following is an adapted excerpt from Work: The Meaning of Your Life by Lester DeKoster. It is reprinted here with permission from Christian’s Library Press. By Lester DeKoster Work and wage draw together at the point where conscience functions, that is to say, work and wage tracks coalesce in persons making executive decisions. That’s what an executive is: one who makes decisions. Strictly speaking, the good executive only executes the will of others, be it management in general or the board of directors. Stewardship?… Read more

January 20, 2016

By Joseph Sunde In his book, Risky Gospel, Owen Strachan calls Christians to an active life of faith and risk, cautioning us away from complacency and comfortability, whether in our churches, jobs, families, political witness, or in the deeper workings of our spiritual lives. “We must give up our man-made plans for worldly peace and prosperity,” he writes. “We must relinquish anxious management of our daily existence. We must break with a ‘play it safe’ mentality and embrace a bigger vision… Read more

January 18, 2016

By James Bruce “The end of work” means at least two different things. The phrase can mean work stops. You had a job, but now you don’t. But “the end of work” can also mean work’s purpose or goal. This distinction is an important one. Derek Thompson contemplates “A World Without Work” in his Atlantic essay on our robotic future, but if we make his crystal ball a mirror, we’ll see that, in one sense, work has already ended, but, in another sense,… Read more

January 15, 2016

By Jordan Ballor The 2012 film, Les Misérables, is a remarkable achievement, not only for its ambitious cinematic scope, but also for its inspired cast and stunning dramatic and musical performances. A key driver of the ongoing popularity of the musical play over the better part of the last three decades is the source material’s deep moral and spiritual seriousness. The narrative focuses in large part on the transformation of Jean Valjean, who after nineteen years of hard labor as a violent criminal is… Read more

January 13, 2016

By Joseph Sunde When we think about “stewardship,” our minds tend to revert to the material and the predictable. We think about money or the allocation of resources. We think about growing crops or creating goods or financial investment and generosity. For the Christian, however, stewardship goes much further, weaving closely together the tangible and transcendent in all areas of life. “Stewardship is far more than the handling of our money,” write Lester DeKoster and Gerard Berghoef. “Stewardship is the handling of life, and time, and… Read more

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