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

Berman on Law and Economics

In his magisterial Law and Revolution, Berman includes these incisive observations in his conclusion: Law is as much a part of the mode of production of a society as farmland or machinery; the farmland or machinery is nothing unless it operates, and law is an integral part of its operation. Continue Reading...

The Burkean tradition in Britain and America

Writing two decades ago, Gertrude Himmelfarb observed: In Britain, as in America, more and more conservatives are returning to an older Burkean tradition, which appreciates the material advantages of a free-market economy (Edmund Burke himself was a disciple of Adam Smith), but also recognizes that such an economy does not automatically produce the moral social goods that they value—that it may even subvert those goods. Continue Reading...

The true face of ‘capitalism’

Frank Borman, then-chairman of the Eastern Airlines, said that “capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without Hell.” That’s one way to take Peter Heslam’s reflection on the closing of BHS in the UK, “Business with a Human Face.” I would add that the purportedly impersonal nature of market exchange is also what attracts many of its supporters. Continue Reading...

Trump: ‘They have to work, too’

Today at The Stream I provide some analysis of Donald Trump’s speech earlier this week at the Detroit Economic Club. As I conclude, “The trouble for Trump’s promised future lies in the impossibility of reclaiming a bygone era.” In Trump’s campaign there is a mix of both nostalgia and optimism, which bookend serious critiques of America’s more recent past and the legacy of his political opponents in particular. Continue Reading...

The Despotic Reign of Fear

Yesterday was both Star Wars Day (May the Fourth) and the day that Donald Trump became the presumptive presidential nominee for the Republican party. I reflected on the confluence of these two phenomena in a short essay on what Mr. Continue Reading...

Bruce Wayne and the Tragedy of Ineffective Compassion

A few weeks ago in connection with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I looked at Lex Luthor as the would-be crony capitalist über Alles, and pointed to Bruce Wayne along with Senator Finch as the economic and political counterpoints to such corruption, respectively. Continue Reading...

Work and Eternity

A distinctive of neo-Calvinism, that movement associated with a late-nineteenth century Dutch revival of Reformational Christianity in the Netherlands, is its focus in emphasis if not also in substance not only on individuals but also on institutions. Continue Reading...

A Policy Solution to Fix Inequality and Boost GDP

Andrew Biggs of AEI has a piece up today at Forbes addressing the gender pay gap and provides a neat solution: “forbid women from staying at home with their children.” As Biggs points out, such a policy would address perhaps the greatest root cause of gender pay inequality: varied work experience attributable to choices women make. Continue Reading...

Lex Luthor, Capitalist Villain

In an earlier post I compared the political economy of superheroes in the DC and Marvel universes. And today I have a piece up at The Stream examining the figure of Lex Luthor, the crony capitalist villain featured in Batman v. Continue Reading...

The Corruption of the Best is the Worst

This year will deliver major superhero ensemble films that provide alternative views of the limitations and proper exercise of power. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered this spring to uneven reviews, and Captain America: Civil War is due out later this summer. Continue Reading...