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, where he also serves as executive editor the Journal of Markets & Morality. 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. He has authored articles in academic publications such as The Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, and Journal of Scholarly Publishing, and has written popular pieces for newspapers including the Detroit News, Orange County Register, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2006, Jordan was profiled in the book, The Relevant Nation: 50 Activists, Artists And Innovators Who Are Changing The World Through Faith. Jordan's scholarly interests include Reformation studies, church-state relations, theological anthropology, social ethics, theology and economics, and research methodology. Jordan is a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), and he resides in Jenison, Michigan with his wife and three children.

Posts by Jordan J. Ballor

Christmas and the Store

Today over at Think Christian I explore how Christmas relates to material goods, and specifically how we are to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33). Continue Reading...

On Inequity and Inequality

I would like to clarify that inequity and inequality are overlapping (and related) but not identical sets. Here’s a diagram that might be helpful. The way these terms often get used makes it seem like this distinction could provide some clarity. Continue Reading...

Russell Kirk on Envy

Following up on the recent discussions of envy, here’s a bit from Russell Kirk’s book on economics: It would be easy enough to list other moral beliefs and customs that are part of the foundation of a prosperous economy, but we draw near to the end of this book. Continue Reading...

The Christian Life between Accommodation and Isolation

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “The Soul of the System,” I examine a number of images and distinctions related to Hunter Baker’s latest book, The System Has a Soul. In describing Herman Bavinck’s images of the kingdom of God as a pearl and a leaven, and a complementary distinction from Abraham Kuyper of the church as an institute and an organism, a question naturally follows about the relationship between each element of the pairings. Continue Reading...

The Complexities of Airport Capitalism

Over at The Federalist today, I ruminate on a conversation I overheard at an airport recently. I was an innocent auditor, I assure you. In the words of Sam Gamgee to Gandalf, “I ain’t been droppin’ no eaves sir, honest.” The conversation had to do with the prices of goods and services on offer at airports. Continue Reading...

A Prayer for the Aid of God in Vocation

At the conclusion of the English translation of Niels Hemmingsen’s The Way of Life (1578) (Latin: Via Vitae) is a series of short prayers. The selection includes one “for the aid of God in the needful businesses of our vocation.” The (modernized) text reads: “Give me understanding, O Lord, and assist my endeavors, that I may faithfully and diligently perform the works of my vocation, to the glory of your name, the edification of your church, and the commodity of my neighbor.” Hemmingsen was a significant Danish theologian in the sixteenth century, and a selection of his work on natural law is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming Fall issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality. Continue Reading...

Triangulating Vocation

In a remarkable letter last week, noted by Joseph Sunde, Mike Rowe inveighed against the sloganeering that passes for vocational discernment in today’s popular culture. Mike singled out Hollywood as a particularly egregious offender: Every time I watch The Oscars, I cringe when some famous movie star – trophy in hand – starts to deconstruct the secret to happiness. Continue Reading...

The Challenges of the Financial Calling

In a talk he gave at Kuyper College for the launch of the new business leadership major some years back, Vincent Bacote made an insightful observation about the “people in the room” where things were decided leading up to and during the Global Financial Crisis. Continue Reading...