Acton Institute Powerblog

Jordan Ballor discusses scarcity, theology, and economics on ‘Faithful Economics’

I was honored to be a guest on the Faithful Economics podcast, sponsored by the Association of Christian Economists (which also publishes the journal Faith & Economics). I joined host Steven McMullen of Hope College to talk about the dialogue between theology and economics. Here’s a description of the episode, along with some links for further reading:

This episode features a conversation with Jordan Ballor, a senior research fellow at the Acton Institute. We take a deep dive into the ways that theologians and economists tend to disagree. Our starting point is an essay that Ballor wrote about the different interpretations of the word “scarcity.” We talk at length about the different starting assumptions that scholars work with, the differences in language, the difficulty of separating facts from value judgments, and more. This conversation is a bit specialized, but it is really important for understanding the foundational differences between economic thinking and theological thinking. Hopefully, this will serve as an accessible introduction to some of the thornier issues.

Jordan Ballor is a historian and a theologian, with a deep knowledge of Reformation theologians, but his writing has covered many topics, including a fair bit of writing about economics and collaboration with economists. For the last few years, he has also been a postdoctoral fellow with the Moral Markets project, which we talk about a bit near the end of the show. He is the author of three books, numerous articles and essays, and editor of a series of English translations of Abraham Kuyper’s work.

Here are some links to work that we reference in this episode:

Jordan J. Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.