Monthly Archives: November 2020

Denise Daniels on Christian Higher Education

This episode features Denise Daniels from Wheaton college talking about Christian Higher education. The impetus for this conversation was a paper that she published with Caleb Henry and Bradley Jensen Murg in the Journal of Markets and Morality. Their thesis is that the current demographic and economic challenges that face Christian liberal arts colleges can push institutions toward secularization.

Our conversation covers a number of interesting topics, including the financial and demographic pressures on higher education, the balance of traditional liberal arts with professional programs, the good and the bad of cultural pressure on traditional institutions, and a bit about free speech on a Christian college campus. This episode is sure to spark conversation and be of great interest to anyone with an interest in higher education.

Denise Daniels is the Hudson T. Harrison Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Department of Business and Economics at Wheaton College in Illinois. Her research has focused on the role of faith and ethics in the workplace, organizational behavior, and the theology of work. She is an accomplished scholar and teacher. For the purposes of this conversation, it is also worth noting that she has long experience with Christian higher education. Her undergraduate degree was from Wheaton, she worked for some time at Seattle Pacific University, including as a faculty member, and as an administrator, and has just recently moved to Wheaton College.

Denise Daniels at Wheaton College 

The Future of Christian Higher Education: A Political Economy Analysis,” by Denise Daniels, Caleb Henry, and Bradley Jensen Murg. Journal of Markets and Morality. Fall 2019.

Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make Your Rich with Art Carden

This episode is a conversation with Art Carden from Samford University. Art is an excellent scholar and a great popularizer of economic ideas. The occasion for our conversation is a new book that he has just published with the great economic historian Deidre McCloskey. The title is Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich: How the Bourgeois Deal Enriched the World. This book grows out of McCloskey’s 3-volume series on the Bourgeois Era but is aimed at a more popular audience.

The book makes an entertaining and broad defense of liberalism writ large, both on material and spiritual grounds. It is provocative and thought-provoking, particularly if you are in the habit of thinking about economics only in material terms.

Art Carden is a professor of economics at Samford University, senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, the beacon Center of Tennessee, and research fellow at the Independent Institute and at the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics. He has written numerous scholarly articles and chapters about economic history, Walmart, economic freedom, and numerous other topics.

Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich

Art Carden’s Website

Carden’s writing at Forbes

Deidre McCloskey’s Website

Jordan Ballor on Scarcity and Ethics in Economics and Theology

This episode features a conversation with Jordan Ballor, a senior research fellow at the Acton Institute. We take a deep dive into the ways that theologians and economists tend to disagree. Our starting point is an essay that Ballor wrote about the different interpretations of the word “scarcity.” We talk at length about the different starting assumptions that scholars work with, the differences in language, the difficulty of separating facts from value judgments, and more. This conversation is a bit specialized, but it is really important for understanding the foundational differences between economic thinking and theological thinking. Hopefully, this will serve as an accessible introduction to some of the thornier issues.

Jordan Ballor is a historian and a theologian, with a deep knowledge of reformation theologians, but his writing has covered many topics, including a fair bit of writing about economics and collaboration with economists. For the last few years, he has also been a postdoctoral fellow with the Moral Markets project, which we talk about a bit near the end of the show. He is the author of three books,  numerous articles and essays, and editor of a series of English translations of Abraham Kuyper’s work.

Here are some links to work that we reference in this episode:

Interdisciplinary Dialogue and Scarcity in Economic Terminology, by Jordan Ballor, Journal of Markets and Morality

Theology and Economics: A Match Made in Heaven? By Jordan Ballor, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Jordan J. Ballor’s work on

The Moral Markets Project

A Value Judgement on Value Judgements Wilhelm Röpke. 1941.

Reckoning with Markets by James Halteman and Edd Noell, Oxford University Press, 2012.

Abraham Kuyper on “para-equality” in: Christ and Material Needs (1895) [this will also appear in the final volume of the Kuyper series, On Charity and Justice]

Jesus and the Economics of Scarcity by Grazina Bielousova, The Political Theology Network. (