12 April 2014

Economics ... In The Beginning

Go here to watch a fine interview of Paul Williams. Williams is Executive Director of the Marketplace Institute and Academic Dean at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia (not to be confused with my institution, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia ), and was interviewed for Comment, a print and online magazine whose byline is "public theology for the common good."  The topic under discussion sets up matter well: "In the Beginning Was Economics."

I am especially grateful that Williams grounds economic life in the creation account. In the first chapters of Genesis, humanity as a whole through our first parents was called to work, and to work cooperatively, just as God, in whose image we were created, worked as Three in One. Likewise, humans were called to work creatively, reflecting their marvelously creative Creator God.

Favoring grounding economic life in creation shouldn't surprise those who have read what I have written. For examples, you can download my very short The Law of Contracts: A Place to Start in which I argue that two pairs of presuppositions underlie contract law: the twin virtues of love and justice as well as the sad reality of sin and its deforming effects. These presuppositions work themselves out in history but not history as a chronology of social causes and effects; rather, history as the dynamic of creation, fall, redemption and, ultimately, consummation. Those who enjoy full-length articles with accompanying "scholarly apparatus" (i.e, footnotes for the most banal of propositions) might wish to download my Principled Pluralism and Contract Remedies.

Williams then addresses a topic on which I'm afraid I may have exhausted my readers' patience: the moral justification of the modern business corporation. For some of my ideas on this topic check a few of my posts here, here, and here. Williams briefly discusses the new "social enterprise" form of corporate existence. He doesn't mention crowdfunding, something I've discussed here and here, but there's only so much he could do in a little over 12 minutes.

In conclusion, Paul Williams neatly and clearly summarizes what I think is the epitome of Christian thinking about the fundamental nature of the human vocation and some aspects of its current expression..


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