Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Glimpse of 3 Attempts

Originally, I blogged the content in this article separately, but for unknown reason I wonder why the hyperlinks I made before were no longer working. Consequently, one has to paste the titles in order to find the original source. I don't want to do that this time. I am tired of repeating my previous action. Anyway, the present article shows a glimpse of three attempts in looking at unusual subject, Christian economics.

Let's first see the emphasis on the importance of economic decision. The title of the original source is "Your Decisions Have Big Consequences–That’s Why God Gave You the Gift of Being an Economist."

Britton Brown provides us with the basic foundation of biblical economics. The existence of the sovereign God and his revelation serve as basic premises. God’s revelation teaches that He is the Ultimate Owner of all things and He appointed man as His steward. Being God’s steward does not remove personal ownership and faithful responsibility. God expects man to be responsible in all his economic decisions. Such economic decisions is a way of taking dominion to advance the kingdom of God.

Next, let's proceed to "QE3, the Bible, and Economics, Part 2 – Economics 101, But Not As Taught In School". The writer's goal here is to provide basic biblical foundation for economic transaction. 

The above article is a part of a series teaching the “ethical link between economic policy and God’s blessings and curses.” Particularly, the focus of the essay is to provide the basic biblical foundation for economic transaction. Common with other Christian economists, the writer upholds the Ultimate Ownership of God over all things, the creation of man in His image, and the task given to man to manage all things under God. The writer’s concept of scarcity is instructive. It is due to man’s sin and God’s curse that scarcity of resources exists. However, scarcity can be an opportunity for blessing through cooperative work, that is, the division of labor. 

Furthermore, honesty is required in economic transaction. Without it, the economy is distorted. After mentioning the importance of honesty, the writer distinguishes between simple and complex economies. The emergence of “common commodity” or money is occasioned by the need for efficient transaction in a complex economy. Among common commodities, history shows that since the beginning of time, gold occupies a prominent role as money for people of all ages are naturally attracted to it. 

The writer presents two major explanations to explain man’s innate attraction towards gold. Some explain such attraction in relation to gold’s inherent beauty due to its bright yellow color. Moreover, the writer claims that the real reason for man’s innate attraction to goal is due to the fact that man is made in God’s image. It is God Himself who ascribes value and considers gold good. Man as God’s image instinctively reflects such attribution of God towards gold. Throughout history, trust in gold characterized man’s economic activity due to its qualities of measurability, reliability, and scarcity.

"Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element" is the third and last article. The writer's aim is to provide a neo-scholastic approach to economics. 

John D. Mueller's initiative was prompted by the emergence of economic issues resulting from the 2008 crisis. Politicians offer economic solutions but Mueller shows the failure of conventional answers offered by both Democrats and Republicans “for their deficit spending, promotion of unsound currency (theft through inflation), payoffs to select constituencies, and lack of fiscal discipline.” Mueller offers an alternative economic perspective among competing economic theories that is grounded on Christian theology. He attempts to apply the moral philosophy from Augustine to Aquinas to economic policy. The doctrines of providence and the image of God serve as the links that connect theology to economics. He criticized Adam Smith’s pantheistic idea of “invisible hand”. Mueller argues that such theological disconnection accounts for the reigning amorality and denial of natural norms among economists since Smith’s day. The ideas of Marx and Lenin simply followed such disconnection. Mueller is envisioning for “a new economic era grounded on neo-scholasticism.”