Category Archives: Issues

Faith & Economics Issue 77 – Spring 2021

Faith & Economics
NUMBER 77, Spring 2021

Editor’s Introduction: Economic Justice
Steven McMullen


What Does the Lord Require? A Christian Perspective on Justice in Public Finance
John E. Anderson

Four Myths Concerning Taxation and Government Spending
Daniel K. Finn

Economic Justice and Jubilee
Enoch Hill

How Does a Catholic Approach to Social Questions Teach Us to Approach Federal Policy, Attitudinally?
Christina McRorie


Wealth and Poverty in Early Christianity
Helen Rhee
Reviewed by Kurt C. Schaefer

The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous
Joseph Henrich
Reviewed by Ross B. Emmett

The Making of a Democratic Economy: How to Build Prosperity for the Many, Not the Few
Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard
Reviewed by Jamin Hübner

In All Fairness: Equality, Liberty and the Quest for Human Dignity
Robert M. Whaples, Michael C. Munger, and Christopher J. Coyne
Reviewed by Walker Wright

God’s Good Economy: Doing Economic Justice in Today’s World
Andrew Hartropp
Reviewed by Steven McMullen

Faith & Economics Issue 76 – Fall 2020

Faith & Economics
NUMBER 76, Fall 2020

Editor’s Introduction: What Difference Does Christianity Make?
Steven McMullen


Faith and Economics in Robinson Crusoe
Geoffrey Brennan and A. M. C. Waterman

The Trinity in the Theology of Economics
D. Glenn Butner, Jr.

Symposium: In the Contemporary United States What Would a Truly Humane Economy Look Like?

Three Ethical Criteria for Evaluating the Humanity of Economic Systems
Krieg Tidemann and Kristine Principe

“The Goodness of Tolerance”: The Humanity of Political Economy
Art Carden and Jaime Carini

Move Beyond the One-hit Wonder of Economic Growth and Use the Whole Hymnal
Robert C. Tatum

A Faithful Presence in a Broken Economy
Denise Daniels and Jeff Van Duzer

Human Flourishing and the Subjective Dimension of work
Geoffrey C. Friesen

Whose Community? Market Economics and the Concept of Solidarity
Paul R. Koch

Owning Up to It: Why Cooperatives Create the Humane Economy our World Needs 
Jamin Andreas Hübner


Why Culture Matters Most
David C. Rose
Reviewed by Stephen L. S. Smith

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism
Anne Case and Angus Deaton
Reviewed by Matthew P. Forsstrom

The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty
Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
Reviewed by Sarah M. Estelle

The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality
Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles
Reviewed by Charles M. North

The Economics of Religion in India
Sriya Iyer
Reviewed by Jamin Andreas Hübner

Shrewd Samaritan: Faith, Economics, and the Road to Loving Our Global Neighbor
Bruce Wydick  
Reviewed by Karla Borja

Faith & Economics Issue 75 – Spring 2020

Faith & Economics
NUMBER 75, Spring 2020

Editor’s Introduction: COVID-19 and Economic Calculation
Steven McMullen


The Kuyperian Dream of Reconstructing Economics on Christian Foundations
Paul Oslington

Symposium on The Keynesian Revolution and Our Empty Economy: We’re All Dead by Victor Claar and Greg Forster

Keynes, Consumption and Hollow Prosperity: A Response to Claar and Forster
Todd Steen

Pluralism, Stewardship, and the Church
Brent Waters

Critical Reflections on Claar and Forster’s The Keynesian Revolution and Our Empty Economy
Jamin Andreas Hübner

Authors’ Response
Victor Claar and Greg Forster


Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty Isn’t the American Dream
By Brian Fikkert & Kelly M. Kapic
A Field Guide to Becoming Whole: Principles for Poverty Alleviation Ministries                            
By Brian Fikkert & Kelly M. Kapic
Reviewed by Bruce Wydick

HUMANOMICS: Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations for the Twenty-First Century
By Vernon L. Smith and Bart J. Wilson
Reviewed by John Lunn

Economics: A Student’s Guide
By Greg Forster
Reviewed by Kenneth G Elzinga

Paul and Economics: A Handbook
Edited by Thomas R. Blanton IV & Raymond Pickett
Reviewed by Kurt C. Schaefer

Beyond Stewardship: New Approaches to Creation Care
Edited by David Paul Warners & Matthew Kuperus Heun
Reviewed by Steven McMullen

Faith & Economics Issue 74: Fall 2019

Editor’s Introduction
Steven McMullen


“Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon”: An Institutional Interpretation of the Gospels
Walker Wright

Abstract: Jesus’ teachings on wealth are arguably some of the most controversial in modern times. This paper will examine these teachings through the lens of institutional economics. First, it will explore the political and economic background of the Greco-Roman world, including the zero-sum mentality of its inhabitants. Second, it will demonstrate how Jesus’ words and deeds suggest that wealth was seen as synonymous with extractive imperial policies. Finally, it will briefly discuss the interpretative implications for modern-day Christians.


Full Symposium

Prudently Preserving the Rational Choice Framework
Enoch Hill

The Difficulty of a Theological Economics
John Lunn

The Light of Eternity and the Humane Economy
Andrew M. Yuengert

Response to the Symposium
Mary Hirschfeld


The Political Economy of Brexit
Brian Griffiths

A Conversation with Brian Griffiths
Stephen L. S. Smith and Thomas M. Smith


Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy
Dani Rodrik
Reviewed by Michael Anderson

Practicing the King’s Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and Give
Michael Rhodes, Robby Holt, with Brian Fikkert
Reviewed by Todd Steen

An Economics of Justice & Charity: Catholic Social Teaching, Its Development and Contemporary Relevance
Thomas Storck
Reviewed by Richard Dadzie

Missional Economics: Biblical Justice and Christian Formation
Michael Barram
Reviewed by Henry Hao

Discrimination and Disparities
Thomas Sowell
Reviewed by Kristine Principe

Faith & Economics – Spring 2019

Faith & Economics
Number 73 Spring 2019


Markets and Prophets: An Examination of the Silver Hypothesis
John Lunn and Barry Bandstra

Abstract: We examine a hypothesis by the economic historian, Morris Silver, concerning the role of the prophets in Ancient Israel. Based on a model he developed earlier, Silver speculates that the Hebrew prophets such as Amos and Isaiah were heeded by the government, there was land reform and a movement away from international trade and specialization. The result was a weaker economy and ultimately the destruction of both Israel and Judah as independent nations. Silver utilizes a model he developed relating affluence and altruism, leading to government attempts to benefit the poor. However, the actions only weakened the economy and made the poor worse off. We examine the Hebrew Scriptures, archaeological data and the work of biblical scholars to determine whether Silver’s hypothesis can be supported or refuted. We also examine the model he used as well as other models used by biblical scholars, and argue the models are being used to create data and facts rather than let data support or refute hypotheses.

Key Words: Ancient Israel; altruism; biblical prophets; social science models

The Cost of Being Faithful: What do Farmers Give Up to Keep the Sabbath?
Britney Rosburg, Terry W. Griffin, and Brian Coffey

Abstract: Judeo-Christian beliefs and tradition include observing a Sabbath, or day of rest, by abstaining from work one day each week. In modern times, followers of the Jewish faith mark the Sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening and Christians do so on Sunday. For both groups, this practice is firmly entrenched to the point that many contend that working on Sunday is morally wrong. For many Christian workers in the United States, this practice often fits with their work schedule as Saturday and Sunday are typical days off doe many schools, government organizations, and businesses. There are exceptions to this and farmers are one of the most obvious. The demands of managing a farm do not conform to uniform weekly work schedules. To meet labor requirements, many Americans family farms rely upon unpaid family labor to perform tasks such as conducting field operations. Reliance on unpaid labor is becoming more prevalent due to lack of available laborers in many locations in the United States. A whole-farm linear programming model was parameterized as a limited resource Midwestern USA crop-producing farm. Model results estimate the costs of shutting down farm operations for differing levels of Sabbath observation across peak and non-peak seasonal time periods. Results indicate substantial costs are likely to occur, indicating that Sabbath-observing farm operators must perceive at least a base level of perceived benefits. These results are of interest to multi-generational farms attempting to balance work-life issues, researchers evaluating economics of religion, and rural development labor economists studying impacts of decaying populations on rural communities.

Keywords: whole-farm planning; limited resource farms; labor; religion; network; community


The Language of Utilitarianism in Economics and the Public Square
Sarah Hamersma

Moral Tribes and Moral Concerns in Public Policy
Ngina Chiteji

Book Reviews

Counting the Cost: Christian Perspectives on Capitalism
Art Lindsley and Anne Bradley
Reviewed by Roger B. Conover

Return to Order
John Horvat II
Reviewed by Kristen Cooper

The Tyranny of Metrics
Jerry Z. Muller
Reviewed by Jamin Hübner

Why Liberalism Failed
Patrick Deneen
Reviewed by Steven McMullen

Faith & Economics – Fall 2018



Fall 2018


Returns to Education in the United States: Differentials among Christian Affiliations by Gender
Sedefka Beck

Abstract: This study examines the returns to education for the three major Christian affiliations in the United States—mainline protestants, conservative protestants, and catholics—using data for non-Hispanic whites from the 2005 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The returns to education are examined at the mean with ordinary least squares and along the wage rate distribution using quantile regressions. At the mean women generally have higher returns to education than men do. However, along the wage rate distribution, different patterns of the returns to education are observed among religious and gender groups. Mainline protestant women have higher returns to education than their male counterparts at low wages, but similar returns to education at high wages. Conservative protestant women have fairly uniform returns to schooling throughout the wage distribution that are also higher than the returns to schooling for conservative protestant men across the wage distribution. In contrast, the rates of return to schooling for Catholic women and men are generally similar along the wage distribution, except at the highest two deciles where women have higher rates of return to schooling. In addition, older conservative protestant men have lower returns to education than their younger counterparts do.

Rerum Novarum and Economic Thought: Some Comments on Professor Waterman from an Italian Point of View
Giacomo Costa


Trade with Developing Countries in a Global Value Chain World
Judith M. Dean

Is There a Moral Case for Globalization?
Steven R. Weisman


Against Market Complicity
John P. Tiemstra

Abstract: The doctrine of market complicity holds that entering into a trading relationship causes each party to take on some moral responsibility for the other parties’ actions. For example, consumers who buy goods made in sweatshops are guilty of abusing workers, and employers are guilty if their employees use their health insurance to terminate a pregnancy. I argue that this is not the case. The market nexus does not cause us to take on moral responsibility for decisions we are not empowered to make. Vendors should not discriminate against buyers with different religious or moral views, and employers should not try to constrain their employees’ personal moral choices. Consumer boycotts are unlikely to be effective unless they make political demands.


Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis
Nicholas Eberstadt
Reviewed by Lance Wescher

Redeeming Capitalism
Kenneth Barnes
Reviewed by Luke Petach

Pope Francis and the Caring Society
Robert Whaples (editor)
Reviewed by Karla Borja