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Sep 12, 2007

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Viola Larson

Thats amazing given what I just finished writing about on my blog. I will have to copy this out and save it. Who knows I might need it later! I meant to mention Kiva on my last posting but forgot.

Michael W. Kruse

I appreciated your posts on Marx and Presbyterians. One of my single biggest frustrations with mainline pastors, even of many Evangelical types, is the tendency to filter econonmic questions through a (early) Barthian/Niebhurian socialist lens. At least Barth and Niebhur had the wisdom to change their tunes some. Our network of social policy folks are just more radical extensions of this socialism. They have more in common with the gospel of Marx than of Mark. This is not to say they intentionally embrace Marxism but that they've been trained to process economic questions through Marx's categories and frameworks. Thus, they end of up with statist solutions and zero appreciation for markets and the people who work in them. It is maddening.

Viola Larson

I found myself constantly trying to make sure I wasn't equating Christianity with capitalism or even being American but at the same time grinding my teeth over some statements others were making about capitalism. And I don't have any background in economics at all so your thank you was encouraging. A suggestion for something that would be light reading on economics among all my tomes would be welcome.

I think some of the theological problems begin when progressive theology starts mixing with the "Marx's categories and frameworks." South American liberation theology can be quite orthodox in the essentials, particularly if you read Oscar Romero. So what you have now is evolving theology along with Marxist thought. And I think that is where a lot of justice people in the Presbyterian Church USA are at the moment.

Michael W. Kruse

I'm not sure "light reading" and "economics" can be placed in the same sentence. :)

I would recommend Bulls, Bears & Golden Calves: Applying Christian Ethics in Economics by John Stapleford (a former Prof. of mine.) It is written to work as a stand alone volume or as a complimentary resource with standard Intro to Econ texts. It has very little of the funky graphs and numbers and plainly describes basic economic concepts with an eye to Christian ethics. I keep toying with the idea of blogging this book but haven't gotten their yet.

Another good intro that is not from a Christian perspective is Charles Wheelan's Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science. These would be my two first suggestions.(And both sell for about $11.00.)

I think your last paragraph hits the nail on the head.

Viola Larson

Thanks, I will order those.

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