Living Faithfully in the Community
We can also cultivate economic virtues by reclaiming the ideas of vocation (1 Cor 7:17) and craftsmanship (
Last, Christians can strive to uphold a moral framework for the market. We can live out alternatives to materialistic capitalism,[i] while being alert to the insights of agrarianism (e.g. Wendell Berry), distributism (e.g. G. K. Chesterton), “Christian realism” (e.g. Reinhold Niebuhr), or “Christian personalism” (e.g. Pope John Paul II). I am not endorsing the theology of these men, but they and others like them have sometimes been much more acutely observant of our economic practices than have American evangelicals. Christians should resist trying to impose one rigid economic system, for the Bible does not give us such. Nevertheless, we must be very alert to the moral foundations and implications of any particular economic approach (see e.g. James 5:1-6).
[i] Capitalism can be a good thing, but when it is rooted in a naturalistic worldview, it is spiritually dangerous. “…Both Marxist and capitalist societies depend on a material foundation for the pursuit of human happiness and deny the spiritual element of the person. The consumer society arrives at a similar denial of the spiritual aspect of life via a different route from that of communism; however, the consequences are largely the same” (Charles McDaniel, God & Money [