Acton Institute Powerblog

Four Christian Traditions on Faith, Work, and Economics

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Through Christian’s Library Press, the Acton Institute has published four tradition-specific primers on faith, work, and economics, including Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Baptist, and Reformed perspectives.

In a new video filmed by the Oikonomia Network, three contributors to the series discuss their respective approaches, examining a variety of commonalities and distinctions along the way.

This unique blend of unity in Christ and diversity through tradition offers but a glimpse of the value and significance of these primers, particularly when absorbed and studied together.

As one who was born and raised and currently resides in the Pentecostal tradition, Dr. Self’s primer has taught me a great deal about how my own theological presuppositions translate into the realm of economic transformation. Likewise, the other titles have challenged me to reexamine that approach and integrate a variety of contributions from other believers in differing theological streams.

As the Kern Pastors Network summarizes:

From the Pentecostal emphasis on widely distributed responsibility for discovery and creativity, to the Baptist heritage of independent, entrepreneurial church life; from the traditional Wesleyan focus on preparing people for the world of virtuous work and economic exchange, to the Reformed emphasis on careful theological integration; each tradition brings something important to the table….These primers help us truly appreciate the multifaceted nature of the work and economics conversation.

The titles and authors of the series are as follows:

  • Baptist primer: Flourishing Faith by Chad Brand, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; foreword by Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Pentecostal primer: Flourishing Churches & Communities by Charlie Self, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary; foreword by George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God (USA)
  • Wesleyan primer: How God Makes the World a Better Place by David Wright, president of Indiana Wesleyan University, et. Al; foreword by Jo Anne Lyon, general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church
  • Reformed primer: Economic Shalom by John Bolt, Calvin Theological Seminary; foreword by David Kim, Redeemer Center for Faith and Work

Biblical Faith, Work, and Economics Books

Economic Shalom: A Reformed Primer

Economic Shalom: A Reformed Primer

This Reformed Christian primer on work and faith champions the glory of God in all of life’s endeavors by tracing four key themes of economics in Christian confession and commitment and examining markers for human flourishing in the real world of economics, commerce, and markets. With scholarly passion and pastoral wisdom, tempered by the insight of economists, John Bolt presents a winsome case for how God uses the market economy to meet human needs.

Joseph Sunde Joseph Sunde is a writer and project coordinator for the Acton Institute, serving as editor of the Letters to the Exiles blog and content manager of the Oikonomia channel at He is the founder of Remnant Culture and was a longtime contributor to AEI's Values & Capitalism project. His work has appeared in venues such as The Federalist, First Things, The City, The Christian Post, The Stream, Charisma News, Juicy Ecumenism, Ethika Politika, Mission:Work, Made to Flourish, and the Center for Faith and Work. Joseph resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and four children.