pro_regeHow do we live in a fallen world under Christ the King?

In partnership with the Acton Institute, Lexham Press has now released Pro Rege: Living Under Christ the King, Volume 1, the first in a three-volume series on the lordship of Christ.

Originally written as a series of articles for readers of De Herault (The Herald), the work was designed for “the rank and file of the Calvinist community in the Netherlands,” not academic theologians, offering a uniquely accessible view into Kuyper’s thinking on the role of the church in the world.

In their introduction, editors John Kok and Nelson Kloosterman describe it as “fundamentally correlative and complementary” to Kuyper’s other seminal volumes on this topic, the Common Grace series and his 1898 Lectures on Calvinism. As with those other works, the Pro Rege series offers evangelicals a robust framework for cultural engagement, including a range of specific teaching and guidance on how to be “in but not of the world.” (more…)

Photo courtesy of Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Photo courtesy of Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan sat down with NPR to discuss, among other things, poverty. As the highest ranking member of the House, Ryan has a crucial opportunity to change the way the government addresses poverty. In his plans to confront this issue, Ryan keeps community efforts and local solutions central.

During the last four years, Ryan made visits to several poverty-stricken areas with community organizer Bob Woodson in order to better understand the challenges these struggling communities face. Through these visits, Ryan recognized the influence of community groups and the importance of supporting the efforts of those who have found and are implementing effective local programs. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 21, 2016
By

Pokemon Go and the Kindness of Strangers
Alexi Sargeant, First Things

What is Pokémon Go? Is it the epitome of decadence? Evidence of America’s precipitous decline? No. Every popular game has its naysayers, but a doom-and-gloom attitude is harder to justify when a game is pulling players out into the sunlight to discover the places and people around them—and to do some good deeds to strangers in the process.

“Buy Local” Would Even Spoil Farmers Markets
Joseph S. Diedrich, FEE

The market’s popularity, variety, energy owe themselves to trade and to quality—not to locality.

Religious liberty trouble in California: An interview with the President of Biola Univerity
Laura Gurskey, ERLC

Society profits from universities like Biola that produce ethical thinkers who can contribute to the marketplace of ideas. As a student who has benefitted greatly from receiving a distinctively Christian education, I am concerned by recent governmental threats to such institutions.

Profit Maximization: A Much Abused Doctrine
Anthony de Jasay, Library of Economics and Liberty

Business education tends to produce zombies with self-contradictory minds.

A solid case could be made that the most powerful natural law in the universe is the “law of unintended consequences.” It’s definitely the dominant force when it comes to public policy.

For example, in 2007 Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which was designed to encourage young workers to seek government and nonprofit jobs that pay far less than what they’d get in the private sector. The program forgives the remaining balance on direct loans after a borrower has made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time (30 hours per week) for the government or a non-profit. The payments are capped at 10 percent of discretionary income, defined as a borrower’s adjusted gross income minus 150 percent the federal poverty level. Any balance remaining after the 120 payments is forgiven, tax-free.

The intention was to encourage people to become schoolteachers or social workers. But there’s another group that found a way to take advantage of this subsidy: doctors.
(more…)

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

What is the biggest economic problem that the U.S. is currently facing? Depends who you ask.  Some social justice warriors would tell you that capitalism is ruining our economy, yet many who have studied and understand economics would argue the opposite. Capitalism is not to blame, but rather cronyism and protectionist policies are the ones wreaking havoc on the economy.

In a previous post, I discussed how occupational licensing as a form of cronyism is trapping people in poverty. However, cronyism is a much bigger problem than just occupational licensing. The U.S. struggles with other forms of cronyism too, such as protectionism through quotas, tariffs, and corporate welfare.

Quotas and tariffs make it extremely difficult for international firms to sell their product in the U.S., thus protecting U.S. firms from international competitors.  Corporate welfare is government support of a private business usually through direct money transfers (subsidies) or tax breaks, often protecting big firms from the competition of smaller firms.

This form of cronyism typically occurs for two reasons:  First, in an attempt to create new domestic jobs or prevent jobs from being sent overseas and second, because politicians promise “goodies” to corporations and individuals that help them get elected. (more…)

Wikimedia

Wikimedia

On Tuesday, President Obama declared this week Captive Nations Week. The first Captive Nations Week was in 1959, proclaimed by President Eisenhower to call attention to the oppression of several countries in the Soviet Bloc and to encourage Americans to support fight for democracy and liberty worldwide. Enjoy the six quotes below as we observe a week dedicated to the beauty of freedom and decrying the continued existence of tyranny:

(more…)

halo-effect1As church attendance continues to decline across the West, many have lamented the spiritual and social side effects, namely a weakening of civil society and the fabric of community life. What’s less discussed, however, is the economic impact of such a decline.

In a new study published by Cardus, Dr. Michael Wood Daly of the University of Toronto explores this very thing, researching the “economic value” of ten Toronto congregations, and finding “a cumulative estimated economic impact of approximately $45 million,” based on a combined budget of only $10 million. The study refers to this as the “halo effect,” noting the church’s value to the community, whether through social capital, community services, or physical resources and infrastructure.

The research builds on an existing framework from a pilot study done in 2010 by Partners for Sacred Spaces and the University of Pennsylvania, which resulted in similar findings. Focusing on 12 congregations, the Pennsylvania study found an economic contribution of roughly $52 million, concluding that local congregations can “now be viewed as critical economic catalysts.” Both studies evaluated a range of variables in the seven key categories, including (1) open space, (2) direct spending, (3) education, (4) magnet effect, (5) individual impacts, (6) community development, and (7) social capital and care. (more…)