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Sep 11, 2009

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Travis Greene

In the biblical narrative, God never creates anything fully finished. Everything is in process. It has potentiality.

We have a tendency to utilize this potentiality for our own aggrandizement. God will tend to disrupt us when we do so.

The Jews were probably the first to have a directional rather than cyclical view of time. Though it zigs and zags, history has a direction and a purpose.

Michael W. Kruse

Yes! The notion of linear time and the ability to shape the future toward an end was critical to the emergence modern economies.

Ryan J Riehl

your distinction between normative and positive economics is really helpful!

perhaps the Judeo-Christian persepective will guide us in two areas:
1. Critizing economics structures and systems that are vastly unsustainable (is full sustainability even possible with sin still around?), unjust, and don't allow proper Christian lifestlyes and churches.
2. Envisioning ways for us to redeem whatever economic system we participate in for the glory of God.

JMorrow

Another implication for normative economics from Christian thought would also be that God's creation is not only or always about us as human beings.

During the days of the creation narrative, notice God's tending to the needs of life that is not human. Follow the narrative through Job, and you find one that God's accusatory diatribe to Job mentions among other things God's care for animals humans couldn't really domesticate, and God's attention to lands that are too harsh for humans to populate. Those chapters generally impresse upon the reader how little humans really know or care about the world they inhabit when compared with God.

So I think Judeo/Christian cosmology lays this out there as a corrective to human confidence about our role as stewards. It's as if God is saying, 'You may think yourself stewards, but its too big a job do alone and for this reason you aren't the only ones tending the farm.'

Travis Greene

JMorrow,

Not to mention God's concern in Jonah for all the cows!

Michael W. Kruse

Ryan

Amen.

JMorrow

I don't think the problem is that we see ourselves as stewards. Its worse. We see ourselves as God. :-)

God created humanity in his image. We decided to return the favor. :-)

Travis

Your inclusion of the cows warms my Midwestern heart. :-)

Rick McGinniss

Ok, I'll give it a shot ... and please correct me if I am off-base.

One implication of normative economics informed by Judeo-Christian cosmology is that "people not working and not being able to prosper from that work is a moral evil." Therefore, one goal (as Christians?) should be to promote structures and policies (even specifical businesses and business-owners?) that enable and encourage people to work and to enjoy financial and material prosperity from that work.

(Benevolence and simplicity in the realization of prosperity are certainly to be valued & encouraged, but they are implications of other aspects of our worldview - not specifically our cosmology).

Michael W. Kruse

I think that has merit. The tricky issues is often what we mean by work. A stay at home parent is not employed but is still doing valuable work. There is also volunteer work. But I think the idea that people being blocked from income generating work are not being able to prosper from their work are things we work against.

Good stuff! Thanks.

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