Torch, Winter 1981

12 A Christian View of Economics by Allen L . Monroe , Ph.D. E conomics and theology, while they are necessarily addressed to a different structure of inquiry, must of necessity derive from a common origin. ECONOMICS DEALS WITH THE PRODUCTION, EXCHANGE, AND CONSUMPTION OF GOODS AND SERVICES AND ALL OF THIS BEGINS WITH A GOD WHO CREATED THAT REALITY. True economic thought must then, of necessity , consider Scriptural propositions . We as Christians must develop a correct evaluation and right commitment to the social and economic problems of our times. Therefore, we need to identify the economic principles found in the Scripture that provide some foundational theistic concepts within the discipline of economics. To some Christian economists, the starting point for all economic analysis is SCARCITY. Simply stated, this means that we live in a world where man has unlimited wants but limited resources to satisfy those wants . In Genesis 3: 17-19 we see the entrance of sin, the cause of scarcity: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb ofthe field; in the sweat ofthy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;for oui of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return . We see that God has cursed the earth and scarcity is a result. The earth is no longer going to give up her fruits automatically . Man must sweat to eat. The curse of the earth is the means of forcing mankind to cooperate with each other if they wish to increase their wealth. In a sense we see the division of labor necessary to increase productivity in a world that is grudgingly going to yield her limited resources. Douglas Vickers, an Australian Christian economist, insists that the starting point of economics precedes the introduction of sin and hence is prior to the scarcity principle. He asserts that there could have been an economic system even without sin. For example, there were economic tasks performed prior to the entrance of sin. Therefore, ECONOMIC THOUGHT STARTS WITH THE CREATION MANDATE as summarized in Genesis 1:27-28 and the preceptive law of God as stated in Matthew 22:37-39 .