Posts by Stephen Grabill

The Market, School of Virtue

This week’s Acton Commentary: Does the market inspire people to greater practical virtue, or does it eviscerate what little virtue any of us have? Far from draining moral goodness out of us—as many think—the free market serves as a “school of the practical virtues.” Rather than elevating greed and self-sufficiency, the market fosters interdependence and cooperation. Continue Reading...

The Fallacy of Adam’s Fallacy

Duncan Foley’s new book, Adam’s Fallacy, is the latest installment among the critics of free-market economics to spin economic history according to the received wisdom of today’s Center-Left intelligentsia. Lest this statement be too harsh, let it be shown that Foley himself reports that his intention in writing the book is not to get bogged down in historical and textual analysis of the key economic texts of the last three-hundred years but to tell his own “imaginatively reconstructed” account of the broad sweep of modern economic history. Continue Reading...

The Catholicity of the Reformation: Musings on Reason, Will, and Natural Law, Part 7

This post concludes my series on the largely forgotten catholicity of Protestant ethics, with a few brief remarks and reflections. My goal for this series, as stated in Part 1, was to show that voluntarism and nominalism are not the same thing, that two important Reformed theologians (Peter Martyr Vermigli and Jerome Zanchi) had more than a passing interest in Thomism (or intellectualism as Pope Benedict XVI referred to it in his now famous Regensburg address), and that evangelicals need to revisit their wariness on the capacity of reason to discern moral truth. Continue Reading...

The Catholicity of the Reformation: Musings on Reason, Will, and Natural Law, Part 1

This post will introduce what I intend to be an extended series concerned with recovering and reviving the catholicity of Protestant ethics. Protestant catholicity? Isn’t this an oxymoron? It may come as a surprise in light of a common stereotype of Protestant theology, but the older Protestant understanding of reason, the divine will, and natural law actually provided a bulwark against the notion of a capricious God, unbounded by truth and goodness, as Pope Benedict recently pointed out in relation to Islam’s understanding of God. Continue Reading...

Evangelicals and the Brave New World: Why Natural Law Can No Longer Be Ignored

In the Introduction to an important new book by J. Budziszewski that engages four distinct traditions of evangelical political thought, Michael Cromartie observes: “While appreciative of the contributions of each of these thinkers [Carl Henry, Abraham Kuyper, Francis Schaeffer, and John Howard Yoder], Budziszewski finds fault with each, to a greater or lesser degree, for failing to develop a systematic political theory as compelling as those offered by the secularist establishment. Continue Reading...