Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

Are You an Athlete or a Spectator?

Today at Ethika Politika, I caution against the sort of scapegoating that justifies ideologies at the expense of human effort: Do you support capitalism? Socialism? Distributism? Something else? Wonderful. What does that look like among the mess of market forms that actually constitute the economy you participate in every day? Continue Reading...

Notes on the Question of Inequality

French economist Thomas Piketty This summer’s issue of The City, which includes an article by myself on Orthodoxy and ordered liberty, opens with a symposium of five articles on “The Question of Inequality.” These include two articles on Pope Francis, two on French economist Thomas Piketty’s recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and one on the Bible. Continue Reading...

Should Prisons Be Purgatorial?

“If Christians cannot help prisoners find meaning behind bars,” wonders Stephen H. Webb, “how can they expect the Gospel to find an audience among those never convicted of a crime?” At First Things, Webb argues that revival of Christianity will only come when we reform America’s prisons: Prisoners are test cases of how Christians deal with sinners in extremis. Continue Reading...

Orthodoxy and Economic Liberty

In the most recent issue of The City, I have an essay on Orthodoxy and ordered liberty. I argue that Orthodox theological anthropology, which distinguishes between the image and likeness of God and two forms of freedom corresponding to them, fits well with the classical understanding of ordered liberty. Continue Reading...

Why We Need To Get ‘Community’ Right

What is a “community?” What are the boundaries of a community or organization? And – most important – why is community important? Andy Crouch, writer, musician and Acton University plenary speaker, says we need to ask and answer these questions. Continue Reading...

Social Ethics in a Season of Suffering

In a review by Micah Watson of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) earlier this year at The Gospel Coalition, Watson described the book as “akin to a social event with heavy hors d’oevres served throughout the evening.” There were, however, some offerings in this tapestry of tapas, so to speak, that Watson thought deserved an entree presentation. Continue Reading...

The Accra Confession after Ten Years

The Accra Confession, a document arising out of the Reformed ecumenical movement, was promulgated ten years ago. At the time, Rev. Jerry Zandstra and I wrote with some rather harsh criticisms of the document. Continue Reading...

Audio: Can Catholics, Orthodox, and Evangelicals Learn from Each Other?

This summer during Acton University, I had the opportunity to be part of a recording for Moody Radio’s Up for Debate program, which has just recently been posted online. The subject for discussion was “Can Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical Christians Learn from Each Other?” The participants were Jay Richards (Roman Catholic), Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics and a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute, John Stonestreet (Evangelical), Fellow of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and me (Orthodox), an Acton research associate and assistant editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality. Continue Reading...

Which Inequality? Trends Toward Equality in Lifespans and Education

Earlier this month, I wrote a two part article for the Library of Law & Liberty, critiquing the uncritical condemnation of income inequality by world religious leaders. In part 1, I pointed out that “while the Pope, the Patriarch, the Dalai Lama, and others are right about the increase in [global income] inequality, they are wrong to conclude that this causes global poverty—the latter is demonstrably on the decline. Continue Reading...