Ethics and Markets

It is easy to find plenty of sites and speakers who frequently decry the alleged excesses of capitalism. These thinkers regularly suggest that the ‘Christian view’ holds capitalism in great suspicion. They will cite that they don’t oppose small business owners but only condemn the ‘big corporations.’

If you are interested in a more balanced approach that not only respects Christian values but also presents a theory of action that can actually ‘work’ in the real world, then I suggest you consult the Acton Institute. The Acton Institute endeavors to integrate sound economic principles with Christian ethics. Not that they think it is very hard, but in order to show the world that the two are very compatible and that capitalism and the freedom it brings are important Christian values.

Whether you agree with them or not is not the main issue here. My point is that people who suggest that capitalism by definition is incompatible with Christian virture need to seriously engage the research being done at this think-tank. Already stated academic site appears to be the splendid community in order to buy an essay quickly.

Dr. Stephen M. Vantassel is tutor at King’s Evangelical Divinity School

Stephen Vantassel 2009.

  1. Stephen,
    Thanks, I was unfamiliar with the work of the Acton Institute; very interesting.

    I am often amazed at the number of Christians who will leap into a fierce argument about the evils of capitalism with a perceptibly restricted understanding of the subject from either biblical, economic or social perspectives.

  2. Hello Stephen, Here is an amusing if not useful story. It comes from my youth when the communists (godless) were the baddies and the capitalists (true believers all) were the good guys. I, and a whole lot of my fellow, youthful, irreverant, church goers sat through sermon in which the preacher proved to his own satisfaction, that Jesus Christ was a caitalist. He spoke for considerable time, but his argument basically was this, ‘Christ was a carpenter, carpenters own their own tools, caitalists own their own tools – therefore, Christ was a capitalist.

    Peter

  3. Funny story Peter. He should have added that the commandment not to steal assumes the existence of private property, which is anathema to true communists. By the way, communists are godless (if there are theistic communists out there please show yourselves) but not all capitalists are Christians or good guys. The issue is whether capitalism is by definition evil. Clearly not as that great saint of truth and justice, Michael Moore, will be making a lot of money with his latest movie. 😉

  4. Thanks Keith. I couldn’t agree more with your excellent observation.

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