Greetings from Acton University 2011. The Acton Institute is an ecumenical think-tank dedicated to the study of free-market economics informed by religious faith and moral absolutes. This is my second summer attending their “Acton University” seminars in Grand Rapids, MI.
One of my favorite presenters last year was Dr. Stephen Grabill, director of programs and research scholar in theology at the Acton Institute. A careful scholar with a Reformed background and a unique knowledge of both economics and theology, Grabill edited the NIV Stewardship Study Bible (2009) and authored Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics and edited the Sourcebook of Late Scholastic Monetary Theory. Here are my notes on his excellent, if basic, presentation on the social and economic context of the New Testament:
Tertullian famously asked “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” Meaning, what does the thought world of the Greek philosophers have to do with the Gospel? Why should Christians bother with the culture of the empire when they should be living according to their Scriptures?
We could ask: What does Wall Street have to do with Jerusalem; or economic practice with the seemingly unrelated world of the New Testament? Continue reading