Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.

Posts by Jordan J. Ballor

Tribalism and the dangers of identity economics

Occasioned by some local controversy over a political endorsement by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, in the Detroit News today I have a piece worrying about the implications of what might be called ‘identity economics,’ or “where we only agree to economic transactions with those who agree with us on an ever-growing list of moral or even political shibboleths.” A highlight: The deleterious effects of limiting our economic and social interactions on the basis of visible characteristics like ethnicity or gender are obvious. Continue Reading...

Adam Smith and the morality of commercial society

Over at Arc Digital today I take a look at Adam Smith’s moral teachings, particularly in light of commercial society and Christian theology. This essay serves as a brief introduction to one of the Moral Markets projects I am working on, as well as a teaser for further exploration of the relationship between Christianity and classical political economy. Continue Reading...

Mini-Review: Advice to a Desolate France

Gene Fant, president of North Greenville University, recently attended Acton University as a presidential fellow. He, like many of us, has a bunch of summer reading lined up, and this includes the short treatise from the sixteenth century, Advice to a Desolate France, by Sebastian Castellio. Continue Reading...

First Reformed: The toxic mess of syncretism

There’s a lot to process in Paul Schrader’s latest film, “First Reformed.” The first half of the film sets up as a powerful, even brilliant, study of spiritual desolation and the cross-currents of modern idolatry and traditional religion. Continue Reading...

A trade ‘war’ preemptive strike

Over at Providence today, I say a bit about the Trump administration’s trade policy as well as the President’s rhetoric. Here’s a snip: A sober defense of free trade aspires toward freer and freer exchange, even while it recognizes the necessities of incremental improvements and the messiness of politics. Continue Reading...

Incredibles 2: Making superheroes great again

I saw Incredibles 2 over the Father’s Day weekend, and just like its predecessor, there’s a lot to ponder beneath the surface of this animated film. In the real world we’ve had to wait 14 years, but the sequel picks up basically where the original left off. Continue Reading...

Kuyper Conference: Faith, Freedom and Education

Last month the Acton Institute co-sponsored the 2018 Kuyper Conference hosted by Calvin College & Seminary. Acton’s support of the conference included the organization of a panel discussion on “Faith, Freedom, and Education,” which featured Harry Van Dyke of Redeemer University College, Charles L. Continue Reading...

The economics and morality of infinity

In this week’s Acton Commentary I take on Thanos’ zero-sum economic worldview as manifest in Avengers: Infinity War. In the classic debate over positivity and normativity in economics, Thanos is definitely not a value-free figure. Continue Reading...

The (just) price of salt (and cancer drugs)

A recent episode of the very fine podcast EconTalk reminded me of one of the more remarkable episodes during my time here at the Acton Institute involving our internship program. The EconTalk episode is about the price of cancer drugs, and the various factors that go into the often astronomical prices of the latest cancer-fighting drugs. Continue Reading...