Christianity and Wealth

 

黃麗莎Lisa Wong

上載日期2006/7/26

(指導老師﹕郭鴻標 博士)

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1. INTRODUCTION

 

Christians living in an affluent society like Hong Kong are faced with many challenges. Trading in the free economy forms part of our living – whether we are producers or consumers. Money or wealth grabs the heart of most people in town, including some of us Christians today. In Hong Kong, we see those who are very wealthy and those who live in the slumps. Is there an ideal economical system where poverty can be abolished? Is the economical system we are living in fair and how close or far away is this system to that of God’s ideal? How should we as Christians view and handles wealth? These are pressing issues faced by Christians living in the free-market economy that need answers.

 

In this essay, the different major economical systems in our world today and the impact of these in the world will be briefly looked into first. This will be followed by discussion of issues on the stewardship of wealth.

 


2. ECONOMICAL SYSTEMS OF THE WORLD

         

Economy is a major concern to all nations in the world today. In the climate of globalization, a country’s economy is no longer a matter of concern to the nation herself but rather an international matter. Economy is of great concern because it affects the income and deficit of the country and is an indication of status and power of that nation – the better the economy of that country, the richer and the more powerful that country becomes. We see world leaders visiting each other and signing different treaties and business deals to promote economic growth. Is there an ideal economic system that can create an utopia in this world? Among the different economical systems existing in the world today, is there one that works closer to biblical principles?

 

A. COMMUNISM

         

Communism is an economic system that emphasizes collective or state ownership of property and in which central planners rather than individuals make economic decisions so that all citizens share wealth equally.[1] Socialism is a social system in which the public owns the means of production and the government actively redistributes income with the aim that all citizens receive an equitable share of goods and services.[2] These systems arise as a result of Marxism theory. Ideally, these systems will create a utopia whereby all individuals are equal and enjoy and share the same wealth. Poverty will be abolished.

 

In the bible, similar system has been described in the early Christian community where all believers share their possessions with one another (Acts 4:32). They were one heart and mind and there were no personal possessions. There were no needy persons among them (Acts 4:34).  Some believers even sold their lands and houses and the money was then given to the apostles for distribution to those in need (Acts 4:35). They also worked together for the benefit of the community (2 Th 3:7-8). Although such voluntary communism in which a commune shares housing, transportation and work still exists today, they become rarer and rarer these days as members of these communities gradually move out of the community due to work, marriage or individual choices.[3]

 

Involuntary communism on a national scale, however, often resorts to coercion.[4] The collapse of many of the socialist countries such as East Germany and Soviet Union over the past two decades serves to demonstrate the weakness of the communist economics in a totalitarian nation. Planned economies associated with communism give the government significant power to control economy. However, in cases where these governments are not accountable to voters, history shows they become inefficient and self-serving. They give no incentives to encourage people to do the work and take risks in creating wealth. There is no reward for working hard and hence lack of enthusiasm to work. They do not allow individual freedom to buy and sell, to save and invest nor to choose one’s preferred form of employment and to develop the skills one feel appropriate.[5] The people are treated as pawns to be moved about the authorities and are delegated to what the rulers think as best in their interests. When individuals are dependent on any one power or government for basic economic needs of life, then obedience becomes a prerequisite for life and employment. Individuals in the system lack the human dignity of freedom and independence.[6]

 

Under this system most property is public and the properties are usually carelessly and not diligently taken care of.[7] Socialism gives the citizen a false impression that there is no cost to everything in life or as if the cost will be borne by somebody else. This according to British economist Arthur Shenfield is the most corrosive effects of collectivism upon the moral character of people. The socialist system, similar to welfare program, tends to stunt individuals of their creativity and courage and individuals in the system remains poor and subsist as servant and slaves to the system.[8]

 

 

 
B. CAPITALISM AND FREE MARKET ECONOMY

 

Capitalism is an economic system that connects with political democracy to form a social system that emphasizes individual freedom, limited government, and free enterprise.[9] The economic exchange works within a framework of laws and moral constraints that prohibits force, fraud and theft.[10] The free market or the “laissez-faire” is the economic environment that allows individuals to individually make decisions about production and consumption with little government interference. Hong Kong belongs to such a laissez-faire economical system.

 

In a free market society, society’s allocation of wealth is made up of the decisions that each person in the economy makes according to his own self-interest. In this economic structure, the law of the marketplace guides the most efficient use of wealth. It is to the manufacturer’s interest to produce the best goods at the best price and it is in the best interest of the buyer to decide from which manufacturer one buys the goods that one requires. This system is very individualistic as individuals make their own economic decisions and this without due consideration to the macroscopic economy as a whole.

 

The free-market economy is considered to strengthen the culture of life and its moral order in three important ways.[11] First, the market promotes peace among people. From the simplest to the most complex market exchanges, they all have one thing in common: people trading voluntarily with each other to their mutual self-satisfaction. Second, the market offers people the best opportunities to employ their creative gifts and become full participants in society, thus obeying God’s command to work and create. Third, the free market promotes the material betterment of humanity. For example, it has brought modern medicine, electricity, running water, and, now, information access to an ever-broadening segment of the world population.

 

Many have rejected capitalism as it has been criticized for exploiting people and poor nations. They view this type of economic system as a zero-sum game where only one side wins and the other loses.  They tend to see wealth as evidence of oppression, the exercise of economic power in cruel and unjust manners. Ronald Nash, a strong proposer for capitalism, thinks that the exploitation model of poverty is too simplistic.[12]  Although poverty may sometimes results from oppression and exploitation, it can also results from misfortunes such as accidents, disasters, illness. Nash also points out that economic exchanges are actually positive-sum games where both sides win.[13] In a voluntary exchange, both parties believe that they gain through the trade; otherwise, they would not have continued to take part in it. In fact, the capitalist system has greatly helped to raise the poor out of poverty.[14] According to Sider, the percentage of malnourished people in developing nations is lower due to the success in the production of wealth in these countries under the free-market economics.[15]

 

Nash also points out that when capitalism, the system of free economic exchange, is done fairly, it comes closer to matching the demands of the biblical ethics and human dignity and freedom than socialism.[16] Capitalism supports human dignity by allowing individuals to have the freedom to own wealth and to use it at their disposal as opposed to communism. Such economic freedom is a pre-requisite for political and personal freedom.  He defends that the kinds of voluntary exchanges are supposedly mutually beneficial, thus selfishness is not an inherent feature of capitalism. [17]  Although one is faced with people motivated by greed in the capitalism system, as long as the greedy individual is prohibited from introducing force, fraud and theft into the exchange process, there will be little harm that can be done.

 

Nash considers that there is morality in the capitalism system. [18]  It encourages the development of important personal and social virtues such as community and cooperation as the person who does this best is the one who succeeds in the market. With private ownership, moral behaviour is stimulated as the owner will treat personal property with due diligence and care, as opposed to the careless treatment of properties in communist societies.[19] Capitalism also helps one realize the truth of life - that most things in life carry a price tag and encourages people to work hard to get the things in life.

 

As seen in history, the free-market mechanism did prove to be a great stimulus to production with vast increases in wealth and improvement of economic well-being. The system is efficient as the less efficient enterprises losing out in their competition with the more efficient ones. This positive-sum game however can be unbalanced in that one party gets more benefits than the other party e.g. in unfair trades.[20] It has also been criticized as not achieving certain social goals (e.g. building highway and national defence) and neglects group-oriented values.[21] The free market competition creates incentives to cut cost in ways often damaging to the people and the environment. This permits self-interested acts that assault common good e.g. to achieve cheaper production costs and hence increase profit margin of a business, industrialists choose to pollute the atmosphere rather than installing expensive filtering devices. Thus, left alone, the free-market mechanism increases production but at the expense of harming the human society in such things as exploitation of labour (including child labour), hazardous working conditions, long hours of work, low wages, ruin of the natural environment.[22] Some kind of monitoring and modification of the free-market system is felt needed.

 

C. GUIDED-MARKET OR MIXED ECONOMY

 

Michael Novak points out that “in recent decades especially, at least in the United States, 'liberal' has come to be associated both with a radical individualism and with an insistence on doing not what one ought to do, but what one feels like doing” which is in contrary to Acton's vision of liberty - "liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought."  [23] Thus, with the misuse of this “liberty” in the free-market economy, there is a need for some central governmental power to control the economy to protect these social issues. 

 

In this aspect, ethicist Philip Wogaman advocates the guided-market or mixed economy system in which the public and private sectors exist side by side, each contributing to the total economic life of a nation. The capitalist economies of Europe and North America have abandoned pure capitalism and adopted mixed capitalism. These governments intervene the free market by redistribution of wealth through taxation and instillation of regulations to protect the social goals. In making decisions and implementing social priorities, a number of democratic Western countries appear more accountable to the people than most of the officially Marxist societies. There are effective channels of political review and accountability in the mixed economy systems whereby the people can affect economic priorities and these are absent in the socialist countries.

 

As most social issues are rarely decided by unanimous consensus, this system has been criticized for asserting the social priorities of the majority on the opposing minorities. However the minority is still allowed to freely express their opposition through speech, press and organized political action. If convincing enough, the minority can seek to gain enough support to become the majority to overturn some decisions. Although the decisions reached by the majority may not always be the wisest, the democratic process seems to best reflects the mind of the community and is most open to the correction of its previous errors.

 

D. IS THERE A BIBILICALLY IDEAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM?

         

The Bible does not speak directly about modern economic systems but provided some general social principles of economics that are to be followed such as honest trading, use of governmental power for the public good and that societies should aid the poor. 

I think the Centesimus Annus’s Response formulated by Pope John Paul II in 1991 acts as useful guidelines to enlight Christians in this area. These are summarized briefly in the following points:[24]

• Private property is essential for personal freedom and for an efficient economy.

• Labour has a direct relation not only to the production of goods but also to the self-fulfillment of the person. Therefore, there exists a right to work and also a right of participation of labour in the economic process.

• In any society of free people, the market and competition constitute an essential element in the economic process.

• Entrepreneurship is not only an economic necessity but also a moral value in the dynamic process of modern economy.

• Markets and competition are important, but they do not automatically guarantee the common good. Therefore, the market needs collaboration and control by social forces and, in a subsidiary way, by the state.

 

From the above, one sees that Pope John Paul II endorses "capitalism" or the free economy as the system closer to the biblical principles. This is because it best allows for the freedom the human person needs to exercise his creativity. The system encourages producers to be of service to their neighbours. From this same perspective, John Paul diagnoses the fatal weakness of communism as it treats individual only as a factor of production, an object to be controlled and not as an acting subject in his own right. Communism does not allow for the freedom necessary for the person to be creative and to give himself to others.[25]

 

As all economic systems are participated by human beings who are sinful, no economic system in the earth will be perfect. Although churches learn that they cannot substitute economic laws and that they will not be able to build the ideal society on earth, Pope John Paul II points out that they are convinced of two factors. [26] First, economic laws can be misinterpreted and misused by man. Therefore, moral values and moral behavior are essential for the functioning of the market. Second, they are convinced that the market and competition can produce many things for the happiness of mankind but there are many things important for the happiness of man and the well being of society which cannot be bought in the marketplace: love, solidarity, generosity, mercy, and forgiveness.

 

 


3. ISSUES AND CHALLENGES CHRISTIANS FACED IN THE CAPITALIST  AND FREE MARKET ECONOMY

 

A. CONSUMERISM AND MATERIALISM

          As capitalist or mixed economy develops, one of the ways that the economy can continue to grow continuously is by appealing to the unlimited wants of the people and encouraging them to develop the buying habits.  Many economic-stimulation policies focus on encouraging greater consumer spending, such as evident in Hong Kong in the post-SARS period whereby the government tried to rescue the economy by encouraging consumerism and promoting this through the endorsement of travel pass for tourists in mainland China to freely come to Hong Kong to buy goods to stimulate the economy. In this economic climate, Christians are thus challenged and tempted by materialism and consumerism - both by-products of the capitalist system - just as much as non-Christians.

 

Materialism is the doctrine that whatever exists is either physical matter, or depends upon physical matter.[27] There is the denial of the existence of minds or spirits. It can take on many expressions but in the economic world, it is generally taken as the ethical outlook that regards the only worthwhile pursuit in life to be that of wealth and sensual gratification. The self-indulgent person seeks to satisfy oneself through all the pleasures one can get. The self becomes the center of one’s life and becomes idolatry.  It also makes people derive their identities from what they own, e.g. they feel better about themselves because they wear the right label. Consumerism is a way of living in which the person makes consumer goods the object of his heart’s desire - the consumer goods become the source of his identity and the goal toward which his life is oriented.[28]  Materialism and consumerism together have seized most of the Westernized civilization like a giant octopus. The self-indulgent materialism has penetrated the nominal Christian church far more than has self-denying ascetism.[29]

Most Christians will agree with the harmfulness of consumerism and materialism have on their spiritual lives and the hindrance upon them to be a faithful steward of God. Giving such deleterious effects, Christians have to ask several questions. Are policies that favour consumption rather than saving subject to moral criticism in light of the danger of consumerism in our world today? Would there be an economic price to pay if consumerist attitudes declined? If so, is the Christian willing to accept lower economic growth, if that were the consequence of a decline in consumerist attitudes? As Christians, what forms of countercultural witness are effective in resisting consumerism in our culture?

 

Although there may be little one can do to overturn the general tide of consumerism and materialism in the capitalist society we live in today, there are some counterculture practices that may help one witness to the world around us.  These include refusal to shop on Sunday,[32] choosing not to replace older goods that are serviceable though no longer fashionable,[33] living a simpler life style. As one cannot completely avoid shopping for some basic necessities in life, it is suggested that perhaps Internet shopping can help save time and free one from the distractions of shopping bargains and be tempted to buy unnecessary goods as one strolls along a shopping mall. One should critically scrutinize the values that have been put unconsciously onto us from our society – e.g. it tells us that one is a good parent if one gives the "best" stuff (usually material things) to our children. Just as Pope John Paul II points out, the ultimate solution to the problem of consumerism is conversion of heart, for only that can change the object of the heart’s desire and one is best reminded by his teaching of the primacy of the "person over things" and of "being over having”.[34]

 

 

B. WEALTH AND PROPERTIES

 

The Bible teaches that wealth is the gift of God and a reward for obedience.[35] Everything that exists is created by God for our good and is intended as a blessing. Even in a fallen world, God graciously gives us good things to enjoy and graciously rewards us when we live according to the principles he built into his creation, such as working industriously to make more money. This promise is true for both believers and unbelievers. However, the Bible does not teach that material wealth will come necessarily or always as preached erroneously in the “properity” or the so-called “healthy and wealthy” gospel. It is not always the best for us that God should give us material rewards and God withholds these for our good. God calls for a particular role in life for each of His children and gives them or withholds from them so that they can fulfill his calling. He has also promised that whatever we lose for the sake of the kingdom, he will make up to us either in this life or the next. However, God’s promise to reward us is not merely in terms of earthly pleasures but may come in the form of moral and spiritual growth and in the special joy of serving God and pleasing Him.

 

Jesus did not see anything sinful in the ownership of houses, clothes, and other economic goods. Jesus had wealthy friends and followers (Luke 4:1). In the Gospel, one is asked to use resources wisely for God’s purpose and this presupposed that it is legitimate for one to have private ownership (Luke 19:11-27; Mathew 25:24-30). Several of Jesus’ parables give us insight into the way wealth should be seen.[36] In the parable of the shrewd manager ( Luke 16:1-12), Jesus taught that one should use one’s resources with the same dedication and keen judgment as the unjust steward. In the parable of the rich farmer (Luke 12:16-21) and the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, Jesus did not condemn the farmer nor the rich man for making money but rather the single-mindedness concern of his own wealth and happiness and had forgotten God and the poor. However, one should not interpret the latter parable that the poor man entered heaven because of his poverty.

 

While Jesus clearly condemned materialism and the compulsive quest for wealth, he never condemned wealth per se.[37] So Christians should not be concerned about having money but rather the wrong attitudes towards money and improper use of wealth. Just as the Apostle Paul points out, it is the love of money, not money itself, which is evil (1 Tim 6:10). Wealth must not become our idol. Jesus warned the addictive power of mammon, “You cannot serve both God and Mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Mammon is a transliteration of the Aramaic word for money and wealth. Mammon is money, a power that captivates the heart and mind, alienating a person from God. We should not try to dismiss this point by ignoring or misinterpreting the teaching of Jesus. This is not merely willing to give it up but must actually give it up.

 

Christians whether rich or poor, should recognize that whatever one possesses is only ours temporarily as stewards of God.[38] We are to abandon any claims to the wealth of this world as it is not our own and we are just called to be steward of this. So, while wealth is a gift of God and intended to be a blessing, it is never a blessing if we keep it to ourselves. We as God’s stewards need to use the wealth given to us in accordance with the limitations and instructions that God has given us. It must be allocated prudently for the good of all of God’s creation – especially for the care of the poor and the needy. At least, we have to bring the body of Christ a social and spiritual equality. In addition, wealth accumulated in dishonest way or wealth that becomes controlling in one’s life is subject to condemnation. Wealth resulting from honest labour and wise investment, handled by people who recognize they are God’s stewards, is not condemned.  So, wealth can be both good and bad depending on one’s attitude and how one acquires it and put it to use.

 

 

C. STEWARDSHIP OF WEALTH

 

Some may think that as long as a wealthy Christians gains his money legally and tithes regularly, wealth is acceptable. Some may think that the stewardship theology is fulfilled by paying a tithe of your earnings to take care of the ministry and give a generous offering to take care of the basic necessities of the church. However, one must recognize that all that everything comes from God and is not ours (1 Cor 4:7; Psalm 24:1). The New Testament (e.g. Luke 14:33) actually teaches a holistic view on stewardship, involving all one has and does rather than that limited portion that is given to church and poor.[39] The stewardship of wealth will be discussed in three aspects – giving to the poor, investment of money, and appropriate lifestyle one should adopt. 

 

i) GIVING TO THE POOR

 

What is a Christian’s responsibility to the poor? Some believe that a Christian ought to help others only in cases where the individual is the direct cause of another’s suffering. Sider however argues that as Christians, we have a duty toward helping the poor although their poverty may not be directly caused by us, just as we are responsible to witness to those persons whose personal sin is not of our fault. [40] In the parable of the Good Samaritan, we see that the Good Samaritan helps the person who has been robbed even though the person’s suffering is not due to his fault (Luke 10:25-37).

 

The Apostle Paul calls to equality – “I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their want, so that their abundance may supply your want, that there may be equality” (2 Cor. 8:14-15) – such that the haves and have-nots experienced social and spiritual equality. One is called to share one’s wealth as part of one’s stewardship – e.g. Paul wrote to the Philippian church “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:4).

 

There are two clear negative outcomes for those who fail to share their wealth: condemnation and failure to share in the final eternal rewards of the believer – the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) and the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21). According to Ezekiel, the reason why God destroyed Sodom was because she refused to share with the poor (16:49-50). However, the correct attitude for giving should not be out of fear but should be motivated by grace, just like the churches in Macedonia who viewed giving as a privilege which they begged to have even in the midst of great persecution and poverty (2 Cor 8:1-4) and this out of their gratitude to the grace of God given to them through Christ's sacrifice (2 Cor 8:9). So, it is the readiness and willingness to give, not the amount we give, that God prizes. It is our willingness to sacrifice for him that pleases God more than the actual amount (2 Cor8:12).

 

Christians as an individual can review one’s income regularly in light of what the Bible says about the need for evangelism and empowering of the poor and then reflects on one’s spending and sharing patterns. Churches may also look into their programmes and see if the emphasis on the poor is as much as that seen in the Bible. Churches undertaking construction projects may take up the challenge of faith by raising matching funds for evangelism and empowering the poor.[41]

 

Recently, I am taken by surprise the generosity demonstrated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, both considered to be among the richest people in the world today, who have donated a great portion of their wealth for charity purposes.[42] If such giving attitude is present in non-Christians, one should reflect and be encouraged to give more as Christians for God’s purposes.

 

 

ii) INVESTMENT OF MONEY

 

There is an increasing emphasis in our society for individual to invest money one earns, particularly in preparation for retirement. As illustrated in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) where the master commends the two servants who invest the money he gave but condemns the lazy servant who only buries the money without even putting it into the bank to at least gain some interest from the money. Thus, it is biblical for Christians to manage them and invest money well, just like other God-given talents. I think there is nothing wrong with saving up to prepare for one’s retirement since it will be bad witness if one needs to rely on social security to financially support the retiring years. However, the money gained through investment is also accountable to and to be returned to the master for the advancement of God’s kingdom. One should always be reminded to invest the money in a way so as to store up for oneself heavenly treasures rather than earthly treasures where moth and rust do not destroy and the right attitude to wealth must be fostered “..for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21).

 

One may choose to invest in the so-called “socially responsible” or “ethical” investment funds that claim to allow people to invest in businesses that are “ethical” in avoiding socially harmful activities whilst promoting socially beneficial activities. [43] The funds generally refrain from investment in businesses directly involved in businesses directly or indirectly involved in armaments, tobacco, gambling, pornography, animal experimentation, inhuman faring, nuclear fission, mining and countries with oppressive regimes. However, the so-called “ethical” investment vehicles in the secular world may not conform to Christian principles as most ethical investment schemes reflects modern moral philosophy’s inability to give a moral account of anything because it rejects existence of a single authoritative source of moral goodness and thus is contrary to Christian view of God and His Words being the single authority in moral goodness that transcends time, place and culture.[44] In the mixed investments nowadays, it is difficult to assess its various activities and business natures as one has limited ability to know about everything about every potential investments and alternatives available in the world’s free and rapidly globalizing economies.[45] In investing, Christian also needs to be careful not to fall into the temptation of gambling rather than investing - the division is only a fine line that one needs to re-examine time and time again before God.

 

 

iii) WHAT LIFESTYLE SHOULD CHRISTIAN ADOPT?

 

Besides the condemnation of not sharing one’s wealth, there is also a negative view of those who lives in luxury (James 2:3; 5:2-3), there is praise of those who lives in simplicity (Luke 7:25). The “simplicity gospel” teaches wealthy Christians to live with less rather than more e.g. buying a second-hand car instead of buying a new one. Simplicity has many advantages including less environmental abuse, more financial help for the poor, less waste of resources, more devotion to the kingdom of God and freeing up of more resources for evangelism.[46] However, luxury to one can be essential for life to another and it may be difficult to draw the line. Frequent reflection on God’s teaching, appropriate ascetism to control over the passions through fasting and chastity, and personally living amongst the poor (e.g. going on missionary trips to less developed countries) may help one to put in perspectives of the wealth one has and its proper use.


CONCLUSION:

 

No single economical system in this world will be flawless as human beings who participate in such a system are sinful. It seems that at present, mixed economy provides a more biblical economical model than do pure capitalism or communism can provide. This is likely due to the fact that this system allows human freedom and creativity to be sufficiently exercise yet not without control such that interests and welfare of others are ignored or violated.

 

Christians living in the capitalism society need to exercise their freedom on wealth accumulation and distribution shrewdly such that they are accountable as faithful stewards before God. As stewards, may be we should ask, "How much of God's money will I keep for myself?" rather than “How much of God’s money should I give?”

 

 

 

           
REFERENCES:

 

1.     Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V eds, Readings in Christian Ethics. Volume 2: Issues and Applications. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996.

 

2.     Nash, Ronald H. Poverty and Wealth. Why Socialism Doesn’t Work. Richardson, Texus: Probe books, 1986.

 

3.     Schlossberg, Herbert et al eds. Christianity and Economics in the Post-Cold War Era. The Oxford Declaration and Beyond. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1994.

 

4.     The Xenos Christian Fellowship in www.xenos.org/classes/principles

 

5.     The Acton Institute in http://www.acton.org/ppolicy/business/market_theo/

 

N.B. All scripture passages are quoted from the New International Version.

 



[1] Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V eds, Readings in Christian Ethics. Volume 2: Issues and Applications.(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996), 378

[2] Ibid, 378

[3] I visited one such commune in Israel last year. Such communes are diminishing in number as the members of the commune move out due to various reasons such as work, marriage and personal choices.

[4] Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V eds, Readings in Christian Ethics, 341

[5] Griffiths, Brian, The Creation of Wealth (Downers Grove, Ill.:Intervarsity, 1985), 89

[6] Ibid, 89

[7] Shenfield, Arthur, “Capitalism Under the Tests of Ethics,”, Imprimis 10 (December 1981):5.

[8] Cromartie, Michael, “ The Good Capitalist – Michael Novak’s Teology of Liberation” Christianity Today (October 1994), 30-31.

[9] Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V eds, Readings in Christian Ethics, 378

[10] Nash, Ronald, “ Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test?” in Readings in Christian Ethics. Volume 2: Issues and Applications, ed. By Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V  (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996), 347

[11] Acton Institute, “Market and Culture” in http://www.acton.org/ppolicy/business/market_theo/

 

[12] Nash, Ronald, “ Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test?”, 347

[13] Ibid, 347

[14] Cromartie, Michael, “ The Good Capitalist – Michael Novak’s Theology of Liberation,” Christianity Today (October 1994), 30-31. Hong Kong was quoted as an example where the structure of its laws and its taxing system, the education, and the help given to poor people to start business had helped very poor people to move out of poverty.

[15] Miller, Kevin D, “ The Rich Christian – How Ron Sider Has Changed in the 20 years since his First Book,” Christianity Today 41:5 (April 1997), 69.

[16] Nash, Ronald, “ Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test?”, 347

[17] Nash, Ronald, “ Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test?”, 348

[18] Nash, Ronald, “ Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test?”, 350-351

[19] Shenfield, Arthur, “Capitalism Under the Tests of Ethics,”, Imprimis 10 (December 1981):5.

[20] Sider, Ronald J., “Structural Evil and World Hunger,” in Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V eds, Readings in Christian Ethics. Volume 2: Issues and Applications (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996), 372

[21] Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V eds, Readings in Christian Ethics,  340

[22] Wogaman, J. Philip, “Who Should Set Social Priorities?,”in Economics and Ethics: A Christian Inquiry (Philadelphia:Fortress 1986), 14-31.

[23] Novak, Michael, The Catholic Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York: Free Press, 1993), 197

[24] Schasching, Fr. Johannes S.J., “The Church and the market” in http: // www.acton.org/ppolicy/business/ market_theo/

[25] Ibid

[26] Ibid

[27] New Dictionary of Theology, Logos Library System, IVP Essential Collection.

[29] Kantzer, Kenneth S., “The Christian Ideal,” Christianity Today 33:8 (May 1989), 39.

[30] De Souza, Raymond J., “John Paul II and the Problem of Consumerism”

[32] Ibid

[33] Ibid

[34] Ibid

[35] Kantzer, Kenneth S., “The Christian Ideal,” , 39.

[36] Nash, Ronald, “ Does Capitalism Pass the Moral Test?”, 349

[37] Maynard-Reid, Pedrito U., “Called to share,” Christianity Today 33:8 (May 1989), 37.

[38] Kantzer, Kenneth S., “The Christian Ideal,”, 39.

[39] Maynard-Reid, Pedrito U., “Called to share,” Christianity Today 33:8 (May 1989), 37.

[40] Sider, Ronald J., “Structural Evil and World Hunger,” 368-369

[41] Miller, Kevin D, “ The Rich Christian – How Ron Sider Has Changed in the 20 years since his First Book”, 69.

[42]Billanthropy,” The Economist 380:8484 (July 2006), 9

[43] Gregg, Samuel, “How to be a Moral Investor,” Crisis (October 2001), 35

[44] Ibid, 36

[45] Ibid, 38

[46] Clark, David K. and Rakestraw Robert V eds, Readings in Christian Ethics, 342