Christian Economics and Wealth

QUESTION: Christian Economics – Sources of Wealth

ANSWER:

Socialists tend to ignore the fundamental truth that wealth comes more from the creativity and hard work fostered by free enterprise than from resources themselves. A free market economy encourages the wealthy to invest their wealth in productive enterprises, thus making jobs, goods, and services available to others.

In the same sense, natural resources or raw materials, in and of themselves, are not productive. They require the application of human thought, ingenuity, and energy to make them useful. Land by itself produces only weeds and limited food, but with human work and creativity, it can produce enough fruits and vegetables to feed the entire community.

Christian Economics – Psychology of Poverty
Theodore Dalrymple, in his book Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass, graphically illustrates the causes and psychology of poverty. Dalrymple worked as a physician and psychiatrist in the poorest areas of London, and contends that poverty is caused more by people’s worldview than their lack of material goods or money. He says, “[M]ost of the social pathology exhibited by the underclass has its origin in ideas that have filtered down from the intelligentsia. Of nothing is this more true than the system of sexual relations that now prevails in the underclass, with the result that 70 percent of the births in my hospital are now illegitimate.”1 He continues, “If blame is to be apportioned, it is the intellectuals who deserve most of it. They should have known better but always preferred to avert their gaze. They considered the purity of their ideas to be more important than the actual consequences of their ideas. I know of no egotism more profound.”2 The ideas Dalrymple cites as causing the abject poverty of the inner city are ideas about sexual freedom. He says, “Intellectuals in the twentieth century sought to free our sexual relations of all social, contractual, or moral obligations and meaning whatsoever, so that henceforth only raw sexual desire itself would count in our decision making.”3 The poor bought into the package and suffer accordingly.

Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Theodore Dalrymple, Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass (Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee, 2002), x.
2 Ibid., xv.
3 Ibid., x–xi.

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