Sunday, March 1, 2009

What would an economy look like that was conformed to Biblical Standards?

I have been asked to make a comment on what an Australian economy might look like if it was conformed to Biblical norms. This is an expansive question, and would take a lifetime to answer. Dr Gary North has made it his life's work to write a complete Biblical Commentary from an economic perspective. He has written expansive commentaries on most of the books of the Bible, and dedicates 10 hours every week, 50 weeks of the year, to the task. His commentaries are available from http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/sidefrm2.htm

I would recommend those who really want a full answer to this question begin with Dr North. However, I will blog for the next few weeks, or so, on the topic, and see where we go.

To begin, there would need to be a radical change of environment for there to be an introduction of a truly Biblical economy in Australia. Economics is based on faith. For there to be a healthy exchange in the market place, there first needs to be a healthy Reformation and Revival in the general population. In former years there was a much broader acceptance of the Christian Faith, in its broader Catholic terms, than there is today. In the marketplace there needs to be an agreement on the Law-base of the nation. Previously we agreed that the Ten Commandments were the foundation of Law in Australia. The Law states: "Thou shalt not steal." If this is the standard, then the other side to the the law is equally binding, "Thou shalt have a right of stewardship (quiet possession) of private property." I have hesitated to use the word ownership, because the Scriptures states: "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." We have quiet possession of property as long as we have possession in the context of God's Law. God Himself has said that repeated contravension of the Law of God, and the land will spew (vomit/ chuck and chunder) us out of it.

My friend, Hammer, has asked the question, "Economic reformation must surely begin with personal and family finances, eh?" My answer is, "No!" it must begin with a reformation of theological perspective. You can address the issues of personal and family finances, but if you do not address the theological framework of stewardship and the context of the advancement of the Kingdom of God in time and on earth, then structures put into place for the individual and family will only at best increase their ability to pay bills and enjoy holidays, but not address the bigger issues of justice in the marketplace, family and church sponsored "charity", international economic exchange and what constitutes exploitation and the place of slavery, etc.

If we can address the theological issues and constructs, after converting individuals to the cosmic Gospel that Paul taught, then addressing micro-economic issues will bring into order the macro-economic dimensions. (Work in progress; more to come)

1 comment:

Steve from the Alice said...

Thanks for making good on your promise to begin answering this question. If Gary North's ever become popular, we can kiss the rest of the Amazonian rainforest goodbye for all the paper required to publish. Seriously, I look forward for such little sound bites on this and many other topics.

Economic reformation must surely begin with personal and family finances, eh?