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Thursday, April 2, 2015

God's Gold

As promised, I have stepped away from the obtuse academic writing to write a book geared to people "in the real world" who are interested in the topic of Christian ethics on money, profit-seeking, and wealth. People keep telling the topic is "hot" now (as if I should have a clue). I would think the interest will have died down since 2008 during the financial crisis. 

Anyway, I've been trying to come up with a book that a Christian and/or business practitioner could pick up and read without the aid of a dictionary every other line. This is not to say that the book is bereft of substantive ideas; in fact, I did additional research since Godliness and Greed came out. Also, I was able to build on some ideas and toss others after chewing the cud on the original content. Therefore, I think God's Gold is better even academically-speaking. Let me know what you think; after you have read the book, post a review at Amazon. 

The book traces the historical shift in Christian attitudes toward profit-seeking and wealth. Through the centuries, the dominant position shifted from anti-wealth to pro-wealth, meaning that the coupling of greed to profiting and accumulating wealth was at first thought to be very tight, but then loosened--eventually to the extent that a camel could get through the eye of the needle. With both anti-wealth Luther and pro-wealth Calvin living in the same economic context, the commercialization of Europe cannot fully explain the shift. As one possibility, a bias in a core theological doctrine may have been subtly tilting the ground in the pro-wealth direction. If so, the implications for Christianity, and for religion more generally as a phenomenon, would be nothing short of earth-shaking.