Public Square

Theologian Wayne Grudem Weighs in on Poverty

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Author Wayne Grudem with IFWE Distinguished Fellow Jay Richards

What’s the most moral and biblical solution to poverty?

Theologian Wayne Grudem argues that free enterprise is the best answer to this question, according to Tyler O’Neil at the Christian Post.

While presenting his new book, A Poverty of Nations, at the Family Research Council on December 4, Grudem said,

If you are a leader or have influence in a poor country, the focus, your sole laser focus on efforts to overcome poverty must be on this goal – you must increase the production of goods and services in your country.

Grudem pointed out that the Bible condoned hard work as a virtue. He noted that the Old Testament made it very clear that work is the key to security and prosperity. In fact, he said that cultural beliefs and norms – such as honesty, quality work, and accountability – were the most important aspect of economic development:

God’s blessing of productivity to the nation of Israel came through productive work…the manna from heaven – which you could call foreign aid from heaven – ceased the day after their first harvest.

What role does aid from other countries play? Grudem claimed that while it is important for providing immediate relief to impoverished individuals, it’s not necessarily going to be a permanent solution that leads to self-sufficiency. Instead, he said, the long-term road to prosperity begins with a country that can produce its own food and individuals that can support themselves through the work of their hands.

Grudem concluded,

The main point is this – producing more goods and services will increase your per capita income, it will bring you out of poverty.

Want to learn more? Read more about the event, find out about IFWE’s upcoming book about poverty, and leave your comments here.

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