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Praise For Economic Shalom

A marvelously stimulating book. John Bolt is correct: there is much “underbrush” that has to be cleared away in Christian discussions of the free market, both pro and con. Bolt does a lot of the clearing, and he does so with much theological wisdom (drawing helpfully on the 19th-century neo-Calvinist tradition) and appropriate caution on matters where caution is often seriously lacking. We need this book—I hope it gets widely discussed!
Richard J. Mouw
Professor of Faith and Public Life
Fuller Theological Seminary
Thoughtful and grounded in the Word, this primer should awaken those hypnotized by the folly of the world to see a brighter tomorrow. Rather than seeing our work and wealth as fodder for war, Dr. Bolt affirms that both redound to the glory of God, Whose image we all bear. Drawing from the wisdom of Kuyper and Bavinck, Economic Shalom is faithful to God’s Word and helpful to all those who call upon His name.
R. C. Sproul Jr.
Associate Professor of Systematics and Philosophy
Reformation Bible College
Economic Shalom is a thoughtful, carefully argued treatise in defense of ordered liberty. Bolt provides a rare combination of deep theological reflection and sound economic thinking in his analysis of the world of work, social structures, and political economy. I recommend this title to anyone who wants an articulate integration of the Christian faith, coupled with an excellent understanding of economic reality.
P. J. Hill
Professor Emeritus of Economics, Wheaton College
Senior Fellow, Property and Environment Research Center
In the midst of a cacophony of discordant voices touting the latest utopian visions of economic flourishing for all, Economic Shalom is a welcome and delightfully exhilarating breath of fresh air, filled with accessible biblical wisdom and hopeful realism. Peering through the illuminating lens of a robust Reformation tradition, the author graciously confronts the misguided pied pipers of class envy, toxic guilt, material scarcity, and coercive wealth redistribution. Emphasizing human dignity, individual liberty, wise stewardship, virtuous citizenry, free markets, and the power of gospel transformation, John Bolt does a masterful job of calling the church to vocational faithfulness, generous Christian compassion, and the fostering of economic opportunity for all. This book is essential reading for every thoughtful follower of Jesus who is serious about vocational faithfulness, the common good, and human flourishing. I highly recommend it!
Tom Nelson
Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church, Leawood, Kansas
Author of Work Matters
John Bolt is a consummate teacher. A theologian within a tradition, he fluidly moves across history and around the world, drawing on popes and philosophers alike in his exploration of an economic vision formed from the work of Bavinck and Kuyper. Deeply attentive to biblical authority, his passion is for an honest faith in the modern world that gives us eyes to see the meaning of work and human flourishing “through the spectacles of Scripture,” in Calvin’s own image. Reading this primer is a window into the heart of a gifted professor who has given his life to students so that they might learn to live in the world under the Word, a perennial challenge for everyone everywhere, but one that seems even more so in the perplexing, pluralizing world that is ours in the 21st-century.
Steve Garber
founder and principal, The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture
It is fitting for a systematic theologian to tackle the issue of economic systems. As a result this book presents the reader with a rich overview of what the Holy Scriptures, and especially Jesus, have to say about daily social problems and material needs. Bolt turns our attention back to the biblical message and seeks to restore the rich diaconal role of the church, which has in so many ways been usurped by the socialist state. And in the process Bolt challenges denominational leaders to think about the tendency to change the church into a social justice club. Bolt’s overriding aim is to preserve a free society, a free church, and a free school in the Kuyperian tradition.
Rimmer de Vries
former chief economist and managing director, JP Morgan
If you are interested in a succinct, practical explanation of economics from a Christian perspective, this is the book. John Bolt masterfully explains and integrates profound biblical insights with a wide range of important economic literature from Augustine to Thomas Sowell and from Ron Sider to Paul Ehrlich. Posing frequently asked questions, he deftly weaves straightforward, compelling answers. You will gain a clearer understanding of the heritage of American capitalism and its necessity today.
Luder Whitlock
President, Excelsis Center
Executive Director, CNL Charitable Foundation
There is no shortage of books offering Christian perspectives on economics, but readers will make a big mistake if they conclude that John Bolt’s new volume is dispensable. Prof. Bolt has written a truly outstanding work that deserves to be ranked among the very best on this intimidating, but important topic. He lays exactly the right kind of theological foundation, a foundation that portrays human beings as responsible and creative image-bearers of God, that stresses biblical principles without forsaking the importance of natural revelation, and that does not confuse the economic life of this world with the coming of Christ’s kingdom. Bolt combines this theological foundation with a wealth of economic wisdom that powerfully demonstrates the moral soundness and practical benefits of the market economy, alongside an evident concern for the poor and what they really need in order to escape poverty. I recommend this book with enthusiasm and hope that many will take its prescriptions to heart.
David VanDrunen
Robert B. Strimple Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics
Westminster Seminary, California