Calvin and Commerce

I just bought a new book out by David Hall and Matthew Burton, Calvin and Commerce: Transforming Power of Calvinism in Market Economies (Calvin 500). It looks to be a great read. Here’s the table of contents to whet your appetite:

1. Creation

  • Man as Created and Creator
  • Creation a Time of Abundance and Wealth Beyond Basic Need
  • Man Charged With Dominion Over God’s Creation
  • Creation and the Balance Between Work (Vocation) and Leisure (Sabbath)
  • Wealth is not Morally Evil

2. Fall

  • Depravity Requires a Work Ethic
  • Man is Not by Nature a “Socialist”
  • The Role of Wealth
  • Interest or Usury?
  • Poor and Rich are Here to Stay

3. Redemption

  • Christian Freedom
  • Calvin Against Selfishness and Shortsightedness
  • Stewardship and Private Property
  • Wealth as an Overflow of Thanksgiving and Praise for Salvation
  • Investment as a Calling of Redemption
  • Charity and the Law
  • Calvin on Property and Business Ethics: Exodus 21-24
  • A Pattern of Charity

4. Philanthropy

  • Extrafamilial Charity
  • Calvin’s Philanthropy and Care for the Poor
  • Charity and Poverty Accurately Defined
  • Faulty Assumptions of Modern Welfare: Calvin Knew Better

5. Sanctification and Service

  • Is Classlessness a Goal?
  • Providence
  • Sanctification
  • Does Providence Condone Inconsiderateness Toward Poverty?
  • The Initial Calvinistic Business Spirit
  • Work is Sanctifying
  • A Dignity to Man’s Work

6. Eschatology

  • The Present is Better Defined by Eternity Than by Itself
  • Long-Term Investment and Biblical Faithfulness
  • Preparation and Asset Gathering
  • Risk Taking and Reward Gathering are Allowed and Encouraged
  • Calvin and Education
  • Calvin and Thrift
  • The Five Points of Economic Calvinism
  • Conclusion

Tolle lege! (That’s Latin for “Take and read!”)

Ezra and the Farmer


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