Ministry, Service, and Stewardship in Biblical Perspective

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Ministers of Common Grace,” I note that in addition to ministry, “Another scriptural term, that of stewardship, can helpfully describe the pluriformity of God’s grace, both special and common: ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms’ (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).” I conclude by calling for “better attention to the overlap and varieties of these biblical terms.” What I have primarily in mind is the way in which Scripture seems to use concepts like ministry, service, and stewardship somewhat interchangeably. Continue Reading...

Ministries of Common and Special Grace

Should the President of the United States be seen as theologian-in-chief? That might be one way to understand Bryan Fischer’s claim that “we are in fact choosing a minister when we select a president.” I explore some of the dimensions of understanding politicians as “ministers of God” in this week’s Acton Commentary, “Ministers of Common Grace.” It strikes me that those who seek salvation from politicians are making a significant category mistake. Continue Reading...

Review: Blue Collar Intellectuals

“Stupid is the new smart,” and “Pop culture is a wasteland” are just a few lines from Daniel J. Flynn’s introduction to Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America. Continue Reading...

Audio: Jordan Ballor on Christian Responses to Occupy Wall Street

Jordan Ballor is a busy man. He serves as a research fellow here at Acton, as well as being the executive editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality. As if those duties don’t keep him busy enough, he also finds time to do the occasional radio interview, in this case on 101.5 WORD FM in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, discussing how Christians should react to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Continue Reading...

Ecology, Theophany, and Economics

Last Friday, January 6, marked the Orthodox Christian feast of Theophany (Epiphany in the West). It commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John in the Jordan river, the manifestation of the Trinity to those present, and the sanctification of the waters through their contact with God incarnate. Continue Reading...

I, iPhone

The latest episode of This American Life follows the story of Mike Daisey and his investigation into the origins of Apple products, especially the iPhone which is “Made in China.” What might the iPhone say if it could speak for itself? Continue Reading...

Faith and Food Trucks

In last week’s Acton Commentary, “Food Fights and Free Enterprise,” I take a look at the food truck phenomenon in US cities, sometimes called a “craze.” In the companion blog post, “Food Trucks and First Steps,” I refer to Milton Friedman’s observation that there is a difference between being pro-market and pro-business. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Santorum, Tocqueville, and the Economy

On the National Catholic Register, Kathryn Jean Lopez takes a look at the strong finish by Rick Santorum in the Iowa Caucuses. She writes that the candidate’s dead heat finish with Mitt Romney marks “the emergence of a different kind of Catholic candidate in American politics, one who refuses to give up the fight on social justice — substantively and rhetorically — in practice and linguistics.” Lopez interviews Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg, who observes that “where Santorum adds something distinctive to present economic debates is his willingness to envelop them in substantive moral arguments.” Gregg suggests that the candidate harkens back to Alexis de Tocqueville’s insights about democracy in America. Continue Reading...