“There is only one effective solution to world poverty,” says theologian Wayne Grudem in a recent lecture on his latest book, The Poverty of Nations, co-authored with economist Barry Asmus. That solution, he argues, is a rightly ordered free market, and such a solution, he goes further, is “consistent with the teachings of the Bible about productivity, property, government, and personal moral values.”
Watch the whole thing here:
Grudem’s primary question, “What causes wealth or poverty in the world?,” is not new, but he approaches it from a distinctly Christian perspective. Assessing the question from three distinct angles — a nation’s economic system, government, and cultural beliefs and values — Grudem and Asmus propose 79 factors that “will help nations escape from poverty and move toward prosperity.”
Producing prosperity, creating wealth, is not morally evil or materialistic. It’s not morally neutral. It’s rather a morally positive activity. I think it’s a divinely commanded activity given to Adam and Eve when God commanded them in Genesis 1:29 to subdue the Earth and have dominion over it. I think that this is an ability that’s ultimately implanted because of our creation in God’s image, and it’s an ability that imitates, in a small way, God’s own creative activity. It’s an ability unique to the human race.