There is considerable debate in the public square these days about a number of issues that have significant economic components. Globalization, environmental protection, and aiding the poor are just a few. Decisions we make in our personal lives are influenced by our assumptions about economic realities as well. So how might mainstream economics connect with Christian values and principles?
"This book by Victor Claar and Robin Klay is a valuable new contribution to a small but growing and important body of literature on economic thinking and Christian belief. The authors do not advance a unique 'Christian' economic theory, nor do they simply bless every mainstream economic concept with a biblical imprimatur. Instead, they carefully review current economic theory and policy perspectives in light of biblical Christian belief. At times Victor and Robin agree with mainstream economic ideas and at times they suggest thoughtful criticisms of the mainstream. They also take time to address important heterodox economic views in light of their interpretation of biblical principles that bear on each topic.
Extended case studies draw the reader into economic and biblical ways of thinking about important public policy issues. The cases are drawn from everyday life so that the reader can move easily from what we experience in everyday economic life to those topics about which we know less but must render political and economic opinions. They address critical topics such as embracing or protesting market economies, designing effective programs for poor relief, addressing our growing global need for energy, restricting or encouraging economic development around the world, assessing the government's monetary and fiscal macroeconomic policies, and choosing an optimal level of pollution control.
Victor and Robin write with conviction about their firmly held economic views and with fair-minded care about those questions that remain arguable from several reasonable perspectives. Not every Christian will agree with their views, but most Christians would benefit from confronting their economic reasoning and biblical analysis of crucial issues." (Robert A. Black, Professor of Economics, Houghton College)
"Victor Claar and Robin Klay have given us a sensible discussion of contemporary economic policy issues with some Christian commentary. They emphasize the usefulness of mainstream economics to Christians working in the world." (Paul Oslington, University of New South Wales and St. Marks National Theological Centre, Canberra)
- Basic text for high school seniors, college freshmenReview by Eric
The book would serve well as a basic textbook for interested high school students or beginning college students. The authors have a tendency to divert away from the theoretical into specific and current policy issues without bringing the specific back around to illustrate a general point. Some of the assumptions they make about what constitutes "Christian" are also a bit simplistic.
Not a bad book by any means, but insufficient for those seriously interested in economics or theology. As a text for those who need a brief overview but are not that interested, though, it's about perfect. (Posted on 4/15/2015)