Why Private Property Protects Conscience

What is the connection between private property and conscience rights? “If there is no private property,” says Michael Novak in this week’s Acton Commentary, “there is also no independent leg to stand on in speaking for one’s conscience — and not only one’s individual conscience.” In Poland and elsewhere, religious communities had inspired and led the nations for hundreds of years. Continue Reading...

Toil as Curse and Grace

Wasn’t toil introduced into human labor as a punishment from God? Yes and no, says Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary. Our life is plagued by imperfection and the tragedy of our mortality, but nevertheless God says to Adam, “you shall eat,” that is, “you shall have the means to sustain your life.” Work ought not to be so toilsome — toil, in that sense, is a bad thing — but given that our lives are characterized by sin, sometimes we actually need toil. Continue Reading...

The Christian Life between Accommodation and Isolation

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “The Soul of the System,” I examine a number of images and distinctions related to Hunter Baker’s latest book, The System Has a Soul. In describing Herman Bavinck’s images of the kingdom of God as a pearl and a leaven, and a complementary distinction from Abraham Kuyper of the church as an institute and an organism, a question naturally follows about the relationship between each element of the pairings. Continue Reading...

Kirk and State: What Next for Scotland?

Scottishness and Presbyterianism were once synonymous –- and with it reverence for the Union with England, says Ewan Watt in this week’s Acton Commentary. But secularism and nationalism might change all that. Continue Reading...

Economics, Environment, and Eucharistic Vision

Cooperation and creativity are essential for both a well-functioning market and the celebration of the Eucharist, says Rev. Gregory Jensen in this week’s Acton Commentary. As he has done in the past, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his encyclical for the beginning of the Orthodox Christian ecclesiastical year (September 1) meditates on “the ongoing and daily destruction of the natural environment.” Environmental damage is the poisoned fruit of “human greed” and the pursuit of “vain profit,” the patriarch writes. Continue Reading...

Tony Dungy and Heresy

In this week’s Acton Commentary Hunter Baker wonders why are so-called progressives eager to use political power to “correct” the thinking of those they disagree with: You may not have realized it, but Tony Dungy is a heretic. Continue Reading...

Christianity, Socialism, and Wealth Creation

Christian churches in the West have been focused on redistribution of income rather than the creation of wealth, says Brian Griffiths in this week’s Acton Commentary. Through much of the post-war period in the West, the formation of economic policy was dominated by Keynesian activism on the part of governments seeking an increasing role in providing public services, reducing material poverty, and reshaping income redistribution. Continue Reading...

The Economics of Liberation Theology

None of the prominent liberation theologians influential in Latin America had significant training in or exposure to the discipline of economics, says Carroll Ríos de Rodríguez in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...