Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy, and Life Choices
Gregg, Samuel, Journal of Church and State
Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy, and Life Choices. By Victor V. Claar and Robin J. Klay. Downer Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007. 254pp. $23.99.
The place of economics-especially free market economics-in Christian thought about contemporary social, political, and economic problems has always been marked by controversy. For most such issues, there are no simple policy answers. Knowledge of good and evil is one thing, but working out how one does good and avoids evil when faced with complex policy problems is not so simple. There is, of course, the Revealed Wora or God; but if God is -as stated in the first chapter of John's Gospel-also the Logos, then Christians ought not be inattentive to the knowledge yielded by a human science such as economics when trying to discern appropriate courses of action.
This is part of the message of Victor Claar and Robin Klay's splendid new book, Economics in Christian Perspective. They stress that their objective is to bring the perspectives of modem economic analysis and Christian faith to bear upon modern problems of economic policy. No doubt, this is a delicate balancing act, and most economists who also happen to be Christian, and most Christians who happen to be interested^ in economic policy, tend to find it a very difficult exercise. One of the strengths of this book is that the authors successfully manage to avoid presenting an economic text with a light Christian gloss, or a book on Christian social ethics that pays only slightly more attention to economics than most Christian social ethicists. Indeed, readers of this book will find that the economics and concern for Christian principles blend together seamlessly-a rare feat indeed among texts ofthis genre.
The range of topics covered in this text embraces all the large hard economic policy questions confronting believing Christians who take Christ's commandment to love one's neighbor seriously. Claar and Klay begin by sensibly assuming that most readers are unfamiliar with some of the basics of Christian faith and market economics, before launching themselves into an exploration of some of the abiding issues of political economy, most notably the economic role of government. They then steadily move the discussion towards …
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Publication information: Article title: Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy, and Life Choices. Contributors: Gregg, Samuel - Author. Journal title: Journal of Church and State. Volume: 50. Issue: 1 Publication date: Winter 2008. Page number: 160+. © 1999 J.M. Dawson Studies in Church and State. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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