A lot of us are tempted to ignore economics as a discipline, dismissing it as an intellectual pursuit with little or no bearing on our private lives. Through a series of engaging DVD lectures, R.C. Sproul, Jr. endeavors to prove this assessment couldn't be further from the truth, and that what we believe about economic policies informs how we live and even reflects what we believe about our role as Christians in God's world.
Economics for Everybody includes two DVDs with a total of twelve lectures (240 minutes in all), and a print study guide. The lectures swap between Sproul and video footage of his family, miscellaneousstock historical reels, etc. He is an engaging speaker, clearly not bound by notes, yet collected and articulate. The study guide includes lessons for each lecture, each of them including a brief introduction, recommended Scripture reading, learning objectives, important quotes, an extended lecture outline, a brief test at the end, discussion questions, and recommendations for further study.
This isn't a course filled with stats and technical jargon. When Sproul does introduce difficult terminology, he explains it thoroughly and couches it in a recognizable context, linking concepts to everyday life. The subtitle indicates this is Sproul's preferred approach: "Applying Biblical Principles to Work, Wealth, & the World."
While different schools aren't explicitly explored, Sproul clearly favors the free-market approach of the Austrian school, particularly of F.A. Hayek (author of the seminal The Road to Serfdom). This isn't in order to defend mere materialism, however; because the free market is best able to foster material prosperity, it is also the system in which evangelism and missions are best able to fluorish. The end of gain isn't personal comfort, but the ability to expand Christ's kingdom.
The first five lectures are an introduction to the basics of economic theory, beginning with a discussion of Creation and natural law, and moving toward more scientific concepts. Lectures six and seven relate economics to theology and philosophy, and the last five lessons relate economic ideas to everyday life.
Throughout this course, the emphasis is on biblical thinking, biblical action, and the application of the Gospel to our own lives and to national economic policy. Sproul shows how socialism is incompatible with Christianity, why we should seek to make all people prosperous, and ultimately, how to glorify God through our work, vocation, and possessions, and how to use all these to further his project of redemption.
Economics for Everybody | Trailer from Compass Cinema on Vimeo.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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