Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is director of research at the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy, an initiative of the First Liberty Institute. He has previously held research positions at the Acton Institute and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has authored multiple books, including a forthcoming introduction to the public theology of Abraham Kuyper. Working with Lexham Press, he served as a general editor for the 12 volume Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology series, and his research can be found in publications including Journal of Markets & Morality, Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Faith & Economics, and Calvin Theological Journal. He is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary and the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics at Calvin University.

Posts by Jordan J. Ballor

A rule of thumb for the Green New Deal

I have a couple rules of thumb that I hope help me cut through some of the noise around various policy proposals and political debates. One has to do with budgetary reform (a topic I covered at some length last week): If the plan doesn’t engage with entitlements, then it isn’t really a serious proposal. Continue Reading...

The Christian life and the common good

In this week’s Acton Commentary I show that the idea that “physical needs must be met before people experience spiritual needs” is older than Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs. The key to understanding how this might be lies in a distinction between the order of time and the order of being. Continue Reading...

Tribalism and the dangers of identity economics

Occasioned by some local controversy over a political endorsement by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, in the Detroit News today I have a piece worrying about the implications of what might be called ‘identity economics,’ or “where we only agree to economic transactions with those who agree with us on an ever-growing list of moral or even political shibboleths.” Continue Reading...

Adam Smith and the morality of commercial society

Over at Arc Digital today I take a look at Adam Smith’s moral teachings, particularly in light of commercial society and Christian theology. This essay serves as a brief introduction to one of the Moral Markets projects I am working on, as well as a teaser for further exploration of the relationship between Christianity and classical political economy. Continue Reading...

Mini-Review: Advice to a Desolate France

Gene Fant, president of North Greenville University, recently attended Acton University as a presidential fellow. He, like many of us, has a bunch of summer reading lined up, and this includes the short treatise from the sixteenth century, Advice to a Desolate France, by Sebastian Castellio. Continue Reading...

First Reformed: The toxic mess of syncretism

There’s a lot to process in Paul Schrader’s latest film, “First Reformed.” The first half of the film sets up as a powerful, even brilliant, study of spiritual desolation and the cross-currents of modern idolatry and traditional religion. Continue Reading...

A trade ‘war’ preemptive strike

Over at Providence today, I say a bit about the Trump administration’s trade policy as well as the President’s rhetoric. Here’s a snip: A sober defense of free trade aspires toward freer and freer exchange, even while it recognizes the necessities of incremental improvements and the messiness of politics. Continue Reading...

Incredibles 2: Making superheroes great again

I saw Incredibles 2 over the Father’s Day weekend, and just like its predecessor, there’s a lot to ponder beneath the surface of this animated film. In the real world we’ve had to wait 14 years, but the sequel picks up basically where the original left off. Continue Reading...