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Feb 15, 2006


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I am interested to see the outcome of this investigation. I am a PK (Preacher's Kid) who is married to a Seminary Student. I have a strong sense of calling to Ministry, but believe that Ministry doesn't have to mean Seminary. I currently work for a large and very profitable corporation and I am over-compensated for my contributions to the bottom line. I struggle daily with working 'for money' instead of working 'for God' and I hope to find a way to work 'for God' soon. Through this struggle and through hanging out with a lot of very liberal, anti-corporation, seminary students, I have have begun to re-evalute my take on capitalism. Now, contrary to the belief of many of my liberal seminary friends, I believe that Capitalism in itself is not bad. I do not fault the Wal-marts of the world for making a lot of money. I don't boycott them for making a lot of money. And, I don't believe we should prevent anyone from making a lot of money. Socialism, history shows us, isn't perfect either. Instead, I believe that the best way to glorify God is to use Capitalism to benefit God's ministry. Now, how do we do that? I haven't figured that out yet, but I am hoping to figure it out. It might look like a corporation that makes something (laptops for instance) that are in high demand. This company could pay all of their employees very competitive salaries, but instead of paying the senior management team 7 figures, pay them 6 figures (because does anyone really need $1M when $500K will do) and then take the money that isn't being spent exorbitantly on salaries and send it somewhere (a third world country, for example) where that money could feed 30 villages for a year. So, I am interested in what you find. Sorry for the long comment...

Quotidian Grace

I agree with your viewpoint and look forward to reading the follow-up posts. One of the fallacies that theologians and clergy tend to fall into is the idea that when wealth accumulates in one place it must be at the expense of another. They don't recognize that when it works as it should, the capitalist economic system increases wealth and the opportunity to acquire it for all. Sorry to see the otherwise estimable N.T. Wright fall for this canard.

Michael Kruse

Robert you are just the kind of person I hoped to engage in conversation. I hope you will be able to chime in as you have time. Your questions and insights would be a big help to me.

Michael Kruse

Hey QG. I look forward to doing these posts. I have been reflecting on this stuff for more than twenty years and this is the first time I have tried to write about it in any systematic way. I look forward to any insights you may have.


Michael, I have to disagree with your two word answer to poverty, 'being born.' I would change the two words to one, 'sin' or if you want to keep two words, 'the fall.'

Michael Kruse

Hmmm...I think I could make a case for agreeing with you here. Let me say a little more and see if it shades things any differently.

The moment we emerge from the womb we own nothing. We have little control over ourselves much less possessions. Left unattended for even a short time we will die. Only as others nurture, educate and discipline us do we develop the faculties to accumulate wealth and prosper. The health of our surrounding culture quickly becomes a determining factor in our prospects as well. We all start at the same place. Yet based on our parents and where we are born we are going to recieve widely varying levels of nurture, education, disicpline and opportunities.

Part of what I am aiming for here is that prosperity comes from healthy families and communities. Sin has damaged families and communities. Therefore, sin stunts or terminates what should be the naturual progression from poverty at birth to growing prosperity. Nevertheless we come into the world in the same way.

I am trying to be little provocative with this post. Cast things in a different light. Maybe I cast to far. *grin* Does this frame things any differently?

Michael Kruse

One more thought by way of analogy. Healthy adult human beings are capable of abstract reasoning. Yet my tabby has higher reasoning functions than new born humans. The expected progression of a human being is to develop abstract reasoning. Yet we would say a new born lacks rational ability. Similarly, I believe the natural progression for each indvidual should be from poverty to prosperity over time but we are born owning or controling nothing.


Shades of Gary North! Seriously, I am really looking forward to some dialog on the topic. As an amateur economist by virtue of making my way in the business world for many years, I deplore the economic ignorance of most of us, especially my pastor friends. Go for it!

Michael Kruse

Gary North? Yikes! Just in case there should be any confusion, I am not Christian a Reconstructionist or a Postmillennialist. I have heard him in person. I have read some of North's work and he his some good economic thinking in some areas and scary theological stuff in others. So if anything, these posts will be shades of Gary South (as in polar opposite.) *grin*


I agree with your explanation on Church's Economics. But something trouble juts to say for christians fundamentalis in Indonesia. Would you develope your explanation in other to help me ? I want to explain this conception to my congregation.


Michael Kruse

Hi Arie. Thanks for visiting my blog.

I am not very familiar with theologies and philosophies at work in Indonesia. Can you tell me more about how about how you think people Christians in Indonesia understand or misunderstand economics from a Christian perspective? That might help me frame a response in a way that would be most helpful

Also, this post you commented on is the first of several in a series I am still writing. Here is a link to the index for the series (The index will keep expanding until I finish sometime this month):

Theology and Economics Series Index


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