Recently I had the privilege of taking part in a an episode of the UK podcast ‘Unbelievable?’, hosted by Justin Brierley, in which I discussed theologian Wayne Grudem’s new book on solutions to global poverty with Wayne Grudem himself. (Thanks to Justin for having me on the show). The podcast is now online, here. A special welcome to anyone visiting my blog for the first time, having heard the podcast – be aware that my blogging is both sporadic and diverse, but I hope you find something worthwhile!
The conversation with Professor Grudem gave me an opportunity to explore the intersection of theology and economics – a particular interest of mine – in a way that I haven’t for a while, and so I thought some follow-up blog posts might be in order. In my review of Professor Grudem’s book for the Bible Society I was only able to scratch the surface of these issues; in addition, some of Professor Grudem’s responses to my criticisms on the podcast were, I think, insufficient.
Issues of poverty and justice are at the very heart of the Christian scriptures, as Professor Grudem and his coauthor, economist Barry Asmus, agree. Christians need to think hard and deep about how our faith informs answers and solutions to such questions. However, both the economics and the theology are more complex than either the book and our conversation imply. My hope is to continue to explore these issues on my blog over the next little while (but I give no guarantees about how quickly it will happen!).
So, in short, here’s what I propose to tackle in forthcoming blogs:
- Free Markets: Separating History & Myth
- Foreign Aid: Its Role in Development
- Botswana: A Case Study
- Doing Theology
- Creation As God Made It: Market Economy & God’s Economy
- Markets & Morality
- Equality: Good Goal or Distraction?
- Final Reflections: What Is Economics?
As I’ve said, no guarantees about the timeliness of the proposed blogs. I have assignments due and dead languages to learn. But it’s important we think about this well and get this right, because many in our world continue to suffer extraordinary poverty – and the God who made them gives us hope for their future, if only we have eyes to see it.