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Nov 01, 2007

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Light

Michael, permit me to recommend another book for your list. It's "The Redemption of Love: Rescuing Marriage and Sexuality from the Economics of a Fallen World."

Miles looks at the current debate on gender roles in the church and home through the lens of basic economics. She posits that rigid sex roles (beyond biology) were a survival mechanism in the fallen world. She writes:

"[The] historic subordination [of women] is natural because it follows the one absolute difference between men and women: women's ability to bear children. But it is not innate, being instead shaped by the material, economic demands of living in an agrarian world of scarce resources. ...

Patterns of behavior that are strongly reinforced by the physical demands of survival cannot help but become institutionalized in patterns of belief. ...

It can be very difficult for us to sort out God's will from the material imperatives in which we are embedded."

Every page is this rich with insights. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Michael W. Kruse

Sounds fascinating Light. Thanks. I'll check it out.

samlcarr

Michael, this is great news. I look forward to reading the completed work. I'm sure you'll shake us out of our complacency, just as you have done with the series on the household (another book possibility?). What would then be fun would be to have Scot blog your book - the ensuing discussions would be very fruitful!

Quotidian Grace

Great list, Michael. Thanks so much. As a former Director of Christian Education, I'd love to see you develop a curriculum (maybe with your book as the starting point) on this topic.

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks QG. Curriculum or at least a study is what I'm working toward. Thanks!

Bob Robinson

Thanks, Michael, for this list.

I'd add a neo-Calvinist book that applies Sphere Sovereignty to global economics.

Bob Goudzwaard's classic book Capitalism and Progress: A Diagnosis of Western Society does just this. He suggests that we should conceive the global market as an autonomous sphere, an economic organism whose principle of existence ought to be economic justice — that is, seeking the arrangement in which the greatest number of people can be employed in the most fulfilling work possible. However, given the fallen conditions in which we live, the market has become idolatrous — its principle has become simply profit maximization. Thus, economic justice, when it is considered at all, becomes a secondary or tertiary concern for those engaged in the marketplace (which is all of us). Secondly, the economic sphere has overreached its authority and has impinged upon all the other spheres of western civilization. The family, the educational systems, the state, etc. have all abdicated their proper principles of existence and have adopted the idolatrous economic principle. The principle of profit-maximization has become an all-encompassing idolatry across all spheres in society, and everyone believes that this is “progress.” But instead of steering the ship of economic progress, western civilizations have become its slave. This is always the way of idolatry; there is always a reversal in which the master becomes the servant of the idol. Seeking the maximum amount of utility out of every transaction, we have found that no part of the universe remains uncommodified. Thus, "Progress itself apparently has assumed sovereignty and has subordinated man to itself" (p. 119).

Michael W. Kruse

Interesting Bob. I haven't gotten to Goudzwaard yet. I'll be interested to learn more. Profit is to business and economics what eating is to the human body. You can't live without it. But when "food" has become all you live for, then you have a problem. Sphere stuff at the global is fascinating.

Darren

This looks familiar...thanks again for the list.

Michael W. Kruse

LOL

Yes, you were the third person who had asked me about a list and each time I was composing a separate response. This was a attempt to canonize the list of which book are in and which are out. :)

SpellCheckGuy

Blogs - Oraganizations and Communities

Correct to "organizations" on left side

Michael W. Kruse

Thanks spell check guy. My blog could keep you occupied indefinitely. :)

Jesus Christ

It is a very wonderful post and it contains all the valuable information about the Christianity and its economics reading. Thank you for providing a very valuable information.

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