Traveling around in Emergent conversations I frequently come across high praise for Miroslav Volf and particularly his book Exclusion and Embrace. (A book which I have "included" in my library but have not yet had the chance to "embrace.") For all the accolades he gets I wonder if my Emergent friends have also read his book Work in the Spirit, in which he writes:
Since theological reflection on economic systems lies beyond the scope of this study (and beyond my competence), I can only state here my assumption that humanized work as I envisage it is best compatible with full-fledged political democracy and fairly consistent (though by no means unbridled) market economy. (169)
Hmmm….an Emergent icon embracing capitalism? I think he is risking exclusion here. :)
I know some will emphasize the “not unbridled” aspect of this, but isn’t it curious that when we talk about “free speech” or “religious freedom” we don’t feel compelled to always qualify it as “not the unbridled kind,” yet when we talk about “economic freedom” we must always qualify and limit it. I know of very few people who equate “economic freedom” with no limits, any more than they mean no limits when they talk about the importance of religious freedom.