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John Ruskin was an influential British writer and social thinker in the last half of the 19th century. His most important literary work highlighted what has been called “the scandal of grace,” drawing praise from Gandhi to Tolstoy. […] Read More

Two families, the Rockefellers and the Pews, built their dynasties viewing oil as a liquid blessing of God and marker of ‘celestial hope’ for the US, the world and God’s kingdom. Their descendants have mostly repudiated that view. […] Read More

The Bible doesn’t provide much guidance on tax policy, other than suggesting we ought to “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” Fortunately, when it comes to designing a tax system, fiscal policy textbooks have identified three core economic principles that have to be satisfied for a tax system to work in a modern economy. […] Read More

Christian thinkers support a variety of economic theories as “middle axioms” (whether they call them that or not) for implementing Kingdom ethics within the world that is not yet the Kingdom of God. Some strongly support communism without the Marxian atheism that they argue is not part and parcel of communism as an economic theory. […] Read More

For good reason economics is traditionally labeled “the dismal science.” Even the best economists in the world radically disagree with each other about how best to predict a society’s economic future and how best to program its distribution of goods so as to promote universal well-being. One reason for that is radically differing presuppositions about […] Read More

Donald Kraybill’s book, “The Upside-Down Kingdom,” is a modern Christian classic of social ethics. Its basic thesis, well supported from Christian Scripture, is that the kingdom of God is a social order of reverse values – from popular, “common sense” values that tend to reign in everyday life outside God’s kingdom. In essence, although this […] Read More

War-making and money-making are “morally dangerous” engagements. As the Christian faith developed Just War principles to guide governments and soldiers, we need Just Money principles to guide governments and financial traders – and bankers. That’s an ambitious and much needed moral agenda from Theos, an ecumenical Christian think tank in Britain. Theos contends that the […] Read More

Righteousness is a word often used but rarely defined. It can refer to proper conduct—acting appropriately in a given situation—and it can denote good character—being the kind of person one ought to be. I would define it as the proper ordering of one’s life. Whichever definition you use, why would someone be persecuted for righteousness, […] Read More

In his book, “Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God,” Jack Miles offers an imaginative scene revealing the subversive, revolutionary politic of Jesus. A preacher begins the sermon with the well-known proclamation, “the last will be first and the first will be last.” Suddenly, there is commotion in the back pew as a worshipper […] Read More

Radio show host Rush Limbaugh accused Pope Francis of Marxism after the release of “Evangelli Gaudium” or “The Joy of the Gospel,” a 50,000-word statement on proclaiming the gospel which begins with the pope’s hope for “a new chapter of evangelization marked … by joy.” “[I]t’s sad. It’s actually unbelievable. The pope has written, in […] Read More