Thinking Worldviewishly about Economics

Author Brett Kunkle Published on 01/19/2016

This July, I’ll be leading a group of high school students and leaders from Grace Fellowship Church on a brand new experience. We’re calling it the Worldview Road Trip, and it’s designed to equip students to think Christianly about every single area of life. One topic we plan to cover is economics. We want students to know the central components of a Christian worldview and how they inform our views on poverty, money, the economy, free markets, and more. As we’ve been creating an outline for this training session, I’ve identified several key theological issues that are especially relevant to this topic:

  • The Image of God
  • Fallen Human Nature
  • The Nature of Marriage and Family
  • Self-governance and Personal Responsibility
  • The Role of the Family
  • The Role of the Church

And here are the key questions regarding economics that emerge from our theological reflections:

  • How does the Imago Dei inform our view of human activity? Why is man a creator, not merely consumer?
  • How does fallen human nature inform our views about economics, markets, and human interaction in these arenas? How do various economic systems take into account, or ignore, our sinful and selfish nature? How might a free-market economy hold human nature in check and create accountability?
  • What is “sphere sovereignty,” and how does this idea emerge in Scripture (e.g., Paul telling us that “if a man will not work, he shall not eat” in 2 Thess. 3:10)? Who is primarily responsible for taking care of us?
  • Is there a distinction between self-interest and selfishness? How does appropriate self-interest inform our economic views?
  • What should our approach be to the poor? How does our view of human nature inform our approach? How are free markets effective tools in fighting poverty in the world?
  • How does God’s design for the family protect people from poverty (e.g., looking at how single parenting greatly increases chances of poverty and how married men with children are the most productive members of society)?
  • What is man’s fundamental problem and need according to Scripture? How do we prioritize issues like poverty in light of the primacy of the Gospel (e.g., do people need wealth or Jesus more? Are we focusing more on social justice issues or the cross of Christ?)

How would you answer these questions? We will equip students to see how the Christian worldview has tremendous insight into these topics. If you haven’t given this much thought, let me pass along some of the great resources we’re using to prepare this training session. You may find them helpful as you too think Christianly about all of life.