The soul of the polis

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Piety and Politics: The Church’s Social Responsibility,” I take up the Kuyperian distinction between the church conceived as organism and as institute and point out some ways in which such ideas can help us navigate the dangerous waters of social and political engagement. Continue Reading...

Real Life is Much More Than Economic

I think it is important to keep in mind that it is not the world of economics that is critical to human life on earth. When I left the field of economics for what I still believe to be a more important life agenda, it was because I regarded economics as driving cross-country at 80 mph with my eyes firmly fixed on the rear-view mirror. Continue Reading...

The Middle Way of Work

Over at Think Christian, I reflect on an “authentically Christian” view of work, which takes into account its limitations, failings, and travails, as well as its promises, prospects, and providential foundations. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: Bread First, Then Ethics

My ongoing reflection on the Hunger Games trilogy from Suzanne Collins continues with today’s Acton Commentary, “Bread First, Then Ethics.” This piece serves as a sort of follow-up to an earlier commentary, “Secular Scapegoats and ‘The Hunger Games,'” as well as an essay over at First Things I wrote with Todd Steen, “Hope in the Hunger Games.” In this week’s commentary, I examine the dynamic of what might be understood to reflect Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as depicted in the Hunger Games (HT to Hunter Baker for his reference to Maslow). Continue Reading...

The Temptations of Poverty

Galatians 2:10 reads, “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” This is the conclusion to the Jerusalem Council, in which Paul and the leaders in Jerusalem are reconciled and unified, and where is decided that Paul and Barnabas “should go to the Gentiles, and they [James, Peter, and John] to the circumcised” (v. Continue Reading...

Questions on Work and Intellectual Development

Carl Trueman has a lengthy reflection and asks some pertinent and pressing questions on the nature of work and human intellectual development. Recalling his job at a factory as a young man in the 1980s, Trueman writes concerning those who were still at their positions on the line when he had moved on: Their work possessed no intrinsic dignity: it was unskilled, repetitive, poorly paid, and provided no sense of achievement. Continue Reading...

Work as if It Mattered

The conversations over the last few weeks here on work have raised a couple of questions. In the context of criticisms on the perspectives on work articulated by Lester DeKoster and defended by me, commenter John E. Continue Reading...

Work and Western Civilization

Leading up to next week’s Labor Day holiday we’ve been reflecting on the nature of work the last few days. Today I’d like to conclude this little series with a note on the relationship between work and civilization, with specific reference to work in the context of Western civilization. Continue Reading...

Work and the Two Great Love Commandments

One of this week’s contributions to Acton Commentary, in honor of the upcoming American Labor Day holiday is titled, “Work and the Two Great Love Commandments.” In this piece I focus on how we can view work as a means to express our love for our neighbor and for God. Continue Reading...

Stewardship, Soulcraft, Work, and Eternity

In what deserves to be considered a modern classic, Lester DeKoster writes on the relationship between work and stewardship. These reflections from God’s Yardstick ought to be remembered this Labor Day: The basic form of stewardship is daily work. Continue Reading...