The Redemption of Souls, The Healing of Societies

After the fall, the dominion covenant remained in force, but it was re- structured by the imposition of the curses on Adam’s body and the ground. The world now labors under God-cursed scarcity. The five points of the dominion covenant today are these: God’s providence, the principle of service, the terms of the leasehold agreement, entrepreneurship, and compound growth. Whenever a society honors these principles in morals and also in civil law, the curses that God imposed on the ground are steadily removed. This is God’s program of redemption. Redemption is not limited to the saving of souls. It extends to the healing of societies.

ChristIan Economics: Student’s Edition
Gary North

That’s the meat.

There’s more, worthy of note. But if you understand that God insists on the healing of societies – the nations, even the world – in time and on earth, as well as individual men and women and babies, you will be leagues ahead of most pastors and laymen.

You can count the five points of the Christian economics, pre-fall and post-fall, on the fingers of two hands, plus both thumbs. The two thumbs are these: God’s absolute ownership, which is based on his original creation, and His providential sustaining of the universe. This includes His sustaining of economic coherence in a world governed by private property, the profit-and-loss system, double-entry accounting techniques, and money. We therefore have legitimate confidence that economic decisions that are beneficial for individuals and families, in a society governed by biblical law, produce benefits for the entire social order. The pursuit of private profit in a social order based on the principle of the rule of law and the principle of private property will not produce negative consequences for society.

Service and ownership and law. Also, liberty. That’s what we need.

An invitation to future Christian economists is extended:

I have attempted to keep my analysis simple. I have also done my best to show why my analysis is an extension of biblical revelation. My analysis is not grounded on a theory of autonomous man in a universe whose origin came from the unexplainable explosion known as the Big Bang. Man did not evolve out of the impersonal cosmos. The laws of economics did not evolve out of the unplanned actions of autonomous men and women.

The Scottish moral philosopher Adam Ferguson wrote in 1767 that society is the product of human action but not of human design. He was arguing in favor of social evolution. He ignored the crucial point. Society is the product of God’s design, which in His total sovereignty allows for responsible individual action. So is the economy. This is why Christian economics is fundamentally different from humanistic economics. The differences have to do with rival assumptions about the locus of sovereignty. They have to do with the differences between the doctrine of God’s creation of the universe out of nothing and the rival doctrine of impersonal cosmic evolution. There is no way to reconcile these differences. These differences are at the core of the conflict between the city of God in the city of man.

Every social science must be re-structured in terms of the five points of the biblical covenant. My work in developing a self-consciously Christian economics is the first attempt to do this. I hope it will be a model for other scholars.

We need more real, disciplined scholars.

They need not come with accreditation from academia, although this may be useful… if less and less useful over time, as progressive ideology increasingly trumps historical truth.1

What is necessary is not a certificate of guild membership, but a love of the truth, a commitment to scholastic integrity, and the determination to do the decade (or decades) of work need to expand God’s light into new areas of reality, to extract new valuable truths for His people (and in time, the world) to use well.

1 This process ends not with the longed-for destruction of the very concept of historical truth, but with the de-legitimization of academia. We are not that far from the end of the process, likely to coincide with the end of the welfare state and the informal-but-real breakup/decentralization of the bankrupt nations.

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