Monday, April 11, 2011

The Scriptural Case for Private Property

My article "The Scriptural Case for Private Property and a Free Market," is now available in the most recent (despite its date), Summer 2010, issue of Areopagus Journal . The issue is devoted to the question, "What is social justice?" In my article I develop themes that I have written about a lot in this blog. I lay out what I think is implied in Scripture about the ethics of property. Along with what I write in my book, Foundations of Economics, this article is the most exhaustive treatment on the subject I've given (which is not to mean that it is exhaustive in any absolute sense). It was developed from a paper I delivered at Grove City College's Center for Vision and Values conference Church and State 2008. In my introduction I state: 
While many on the Christian Left may mean well, a truly Christian economic policy must not merely be seeking ends that are perceived as desirous or even specifically Christian. An economic policy compatible with Christian ethics must also achieve its ends with ethical means. Any ethical evaluation of economic policy must take into account the nature of economic transactions. The market economy is a vast network in which human beings are brought together by the exchange of property. Therefore, promotion of any public policy from a Christian perspective must be consistent with Biblical ethics regarding property. Holding interventionist policy up to the light of the Christian ethic of property reveals that state interventionism is not an acceptable Christian means for achieving Christian ends.

This implies, I argue, that a society that embraces the Christian ethic of property will be a free society, and will, therefore, be a society in which people interact in a free market.

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