Economics 101

How Does Economics Help Christians Contribute to the Kingdom of God?

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IFWE works with a number of professors at universities and colleges across the United States to lead IFWE campus programs that engage and educate students on the ideas of faith, work, and economics outside the classroom.

Every so often we like to ask these professors – who are often economists, theologians, or experts in other disciplines – the tough questions we get from students and regular blog readers.

One question we often receive is, “How does economics help Christians contribute to the kingdom of God?”

Here’s what a few professors had to say.

It helps define reality.

Economics helps us to define and understand the nonnegotiable constraints on social reality. And when we think about doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God, we have to think about that in the context of a world where scarcity rules and a world in which people are trying to make that world a better place however they choose to define it. In other words, a world in which people are pursuing their own self-interests.

– Art Carden, associate professor of economics at Samford University’s Brock School of Business

It can complement faith. 

Our Christian faith tells us the why, and economics tells us (the) how.

– Joe Connors, associate professor of economics at the Donald R. Tapia School of Business at St. Leo University

It helps us make wise use of resources so we can do what God has called us to do. 

One of the ways that is important is that in Genesis, first chapter, we read that God has created us in his image, and he has given us this cultural mandate to go out and take possession of the earth and to rule over it and have dominion over it. God has created an order in which to engage in our assigned task of taking dominion…we’ll literally have to go out and make use of resources. Or as we put it in economics, we’ll have to come up with some chosen ends and we’ll have limited means always at hand to go out and to achieve our ends.

– Paul Cleveland, professor of economics and finance at Birmingham-Southern University

It’s a good tool for your toolbox.

If Christians want to be more effective in their ministry, then economics is a very good mental tool to have in their toolbox.

– Brian Baugus, associate professor of business, leadership, and management at Regent University

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  • I was originally attracted to econ out of a desire to help the poor. Before you can help you need to know why people are poor. It’s much more complex that most realize.

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