Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

How the Parable of the Long Spoons Explains Free Markets

“How can we explain this emporiophobia—a fear of markets—given the overwhelming evidence that such institutions provide the greatest wealth, health and happiness for humankind?” When economics professor Paul Rubin asked that question last December he answered by saying that we need to shift the metaphor of markets from “competition” to “cooperation.” Cooperation isn’t just more important in the economic sphere—it’s also more common. Continue Reading...

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...