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Principles for a Christian understanding of economics

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PrincipleMany Christians assume that the Bible has nothing at all to say about economics, says Albert Mohler. But a biblical worldview actually has a great deal to teach us about economic matters. Mohler notes that while the Christian worldview does not demand or promote a particular economic system, there are several principles that should guide our thinking:

6. A Christian economic understanding rewards initiative, industry and investment.

Initiative, industry and investment are three crucial words for the Christian’s economic and theological vocabulary. Initiative goes beyond action. It is the kind of action that makes a difference. Industry is human work done corporately. Investment is part of the respect for private property found in Scripture.

Investment, as it turns out, is as old as the Garden of Eden. That which accrues value is honorable, and the impulse to accrue that value is honorable. Thus, a Christian economic theory indicts anyone who will not work, not respect private property and not reward investment.

7. A Christian economic understanding seeks to reward and incentivize thrift.

In a fallen world, money and investments can quickly be distorted to idolatrous ends. For that reason, thrift is an important issue in the Christian worldview. In a fallen world, abundance one day can turn into scarcity the next. Thrift may be what provides survival in times of poverty.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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