Herman Bavinck on love, economics, and the reformation of society

When we think about markets, we often think only in terms of mathematics or money. But at a deeper level, markets are simply networks of human relationships. When we participate in economic activity, we aren’t just creating wealth; we are forming communities, cultures, and civilization, partnering with God and neighbor in a divine exchange of gifts, blessings, and love. Continue Reading...

How a universal income could discourage meaningful work

In his popular book, Coming Apart, Charles Murray examined the key drivers of America’s growing cultural divide, concluding that America is experiencing an “inequality of human dignity.” Such a divide, Murray argues, is due to a gradual cultural drift from our nation’s “founding virtues,” one of which is “industriousness.” “Working hard, seeking to get ahead, and striving to excel at one’s craft are not only quintessential features of traditional American culture but also some of its best features,” Murray writes in his chapter on the subject. Continue Reading...

Lessons on Christian vocation from ‘A Christmas Carol’

“Is Christmas too materialistic? Well, it’s not as materialistic as God becoming flesh, redeeming our sinful flesh, and sending us back into the material world to live out our faith in love and service to our physical neighbors.” –Gene Veith We are routinely told that Charles Dickens’ beloved story, A Christmas Carol, was instrumental in giving us Christmas as we know it — marking the holiday not just as a moment of reflection on Christ’s birth, but as a secular celebration of common virtues and sentiments. Continue Reading...

Is it immoral to waste food?

“Eat your broccoli,” our mothers would say. “Think of the starving children in Africa!” It’s a moral claim we’re all familiar with. If some of our food goes to waste, someone, somewhere, will face imminent harm and the environment will go to the dogs. Continue Reading...

Reimagining work in the coalfields

The American coal industry is facing serious challenges. In states like West Virginia, the effects have been particularly painful, causing many communities to struggle under a projected 23% decline in related jobs and leading vast numbers of residents to leave the state altogether. Continue Reading...

Christian freedom isn’t about choice

As supporters of economic freedom, we frequently find ourselves in vigorous defense of personal choice, whether in business, trade, consumer goods, education, or otherwise. But while the elevation of economic choice is based on plenty of principle, not to mention historical and empirical analysis, we ought to be careful that our views about freedom aren’t confused or conflated in the process. Continue Reading...

The persistent advantage of private virtue

Several years ago, in a discussion on Charles Murray’s book Coming Apart, Ross Douthat included a brilliant observation about what he dubs the “persistent advantage of private virtue“: Finally, Murray makes a very convincing case . Continue Reading...