This book describes some biblical foundations of economics. It clarifies to “confused” Christians that capitalism is not bad. Compassion for the poor, for example, in not only a concern for social justice, but also concern for material conditions as well. No other economic system is better at producing materials than capitalism. For this reason, Christians should thinking like economists.
The economic way of thinking recognizes the importance of incentives under conditions of scarcity. Scarcity compels us all to choose. Choices have value and cost, and a choice that carries is one for which its benefit outweighs its cost. Capitalism enhances benefits because it fosters “peaceful means of exchange,” as opposed to socialism, which dictates “violent means of exchange”. Observed failures of capitalism are not because capitalism exists; they are because “as long as the human beings taking part in market exchange are sinners, we should expect to find problems” (p. 25). Capitalism mitigates “the effects of human sin in society [by] dispersing and decentralizing power” (same page).
Since one of its key features is free markets, capitalism recognizes human weaknesses and the limits to human knowledge. Therefore, to the extent it permits peaceful means of exchange, capitalism “passes the biblical test” in accordance with Scripture.
Chapter 6 of the book outlines Christians’ objections to capitalism, and puts up a credible moral defense. The seventh chapter deals with the Christian worldview of the economics of money. It extols the virtues and warns against the vices of material wealth. In the end whether wealth is a blessing or a curse depends on how wisely Christians use it to meet their obligations. Both chapters anchor securely in biblical references.
The last chapter of the book is somewhat out of depth, but its objective is discernible. The conclusion appears to be that the relationship between God and economics is not necessarily a negative one. Since the conclusion is not dogmatic, one gets the impression the book is well-balanced. It is clearly informed by Ludwig von Mises teachings, although I am not an expert here. Over all, the book is a stronger argument for capitalism, alternatively an argument against socialism and government “interventionism”, than it is about economics. It is still a highly recommended reading.