By Kristin Brown
Originally published on October 7, 2018 on Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics
Whether you are reading about faith, work, and economics for the first time or happen to be an expert on it, you may not be aware of the widespread enthusiasm for these ideas from diverse parts of society.
That is why the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics is excited to announce that we have released, together with The Washington Times, a special report entitled, “Faith at Work: Economic Flourishing, Freedom to Create and Innovate.” The report features opinion editorials by thirty-two leaders from business, political, cultural, and theological sectors and is printed inside today’s edition of The Washington Times newspaper.
This special report has the potential to reach millions in print and online. The Washington Times has 10 million unique visitors and 40 million page views per month. In addition, the paper is distributed to some 10,000 leaders in Washington, including every congressional office.
The following excerpts give you a feel for the wide spectrum of voices from the report:
Michael Novak, “Invention and Discovery Generate Wealth”
Freedom alone is not enough. Freedom alone can also produce indolence and indulgence. To awaken slothful human beings out of the habitual slumber and slowness of the species, the fuel of interest must normally be ignited. One must move the will to action by showing it a route to a better world.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., “Twelve Theses for a Christian Understanding of Economics”
The meaning of work, the value of labor and other economic issues are all part of the biblical worldview. At the same time, we must recognize that the Christian worldview does not demand or promote a particular economic system. Because this is the case, Christians must allow the economic principles found in Scripture to shape our thinking while recognizing that we can act in light of those principles in any economic, cultural or generational setting.
John Stonestreet, “Young Americans, Entitlement, and the Christian Vision of Work”
Whether directly connected with our passions or not, God calls us first and foremost to do the next thing well, to his glory, with all of our might. Short of this awareness, we risk “Christianizing” a sense of entitlement. Instead of asking, “What is God’s will for my life someday?” we should be asking, “What does God want me to do next?”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, “Trusting God, Not Government, for Upward Mobility”
In the coming years, the sons and daughters of immigrants will see their parents’ often-meager beginnings in America alongside their irreplaceable progress afforded by their hard work, sacrifice and selflessness. They will be in awe of where they are, considering from whence they came. But they will also compare their situations to those of more affluent ethnic communities, and they will doubtless want more. You see, hard work is not enough, even though Latinos have that in spades. And here lies the fork in the road. Down one path is a cycle of generational poverty, the idea that we are victims of a system rigged against us. We will be tempted to believe that the government is somehow responsible for our well-being and owes us financial assistance, entitlements and subsidies. Down the other path is financial mobility, ownership, prosperity and generational momentum. In a word, freedom. It’s the difference between merely surviving and truly thriving.
Ismael Hernandez, “Why I am No Longer a Socialist”
Though I blamed America for destroying my parents’ marriage and our lives, in reality socialism was the destructive force. But I would not learn this until many years later, away from the utopian allure of its grasp. At this same time, God was becoming a vital factor in my life.
Pastor Christopher Brooks, “Popcorn and Lemonade Sales Point Detroit to Fiscal Health”
I am convinced that some of the best economists are urban youth. That may seem like a ridiculous statement to some, but for those of us who have experienced the hood firsthand, we know that it is true. Inner-city youth may not be Ivy League-trained, but they have several strategic advantages over the rest of us. They are economic innovators who are blessed with an inexhaustible creativity, boundless faith in spite of their difficult circumstances and an unmatched intuitive adaptability to the market environment and cities they occupy.
This is the second special report that IFWE has published with The Washington Times, the first of which, “Faith at Work: Individual Purpose, Flourishing Communities,” focused primarily on faith and work issues.