Seeking the City: Wealth, Poverty, and Political Economy in Christian Perspective

Overview

A biblical, historical, and practical examination of wealth and social justice

People of faith have always been in search of a homeland—from God’s first calling-out of Abraham to the Pilgrims who came to America to establish the “city upon a hill". Fundamental to this quest for a just, holy civilization—and one of the critical questions facing us today—has been the progress of humankind on the earth When has human progress served the vision of “seeking the [heavenly] city which ...

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Overview

A biblical, historical, and practical examination of wealth and social justice

People of faith have always been in search of a homeland—from God’s first calling-out of Abraham to the Pilgrims who came to America to establish the “city upon a hill". Fundamental to this quest for a just, holy civilization—and one of the critical questions facing us today—has been the progress of humankind on the earth When has human progress served the vision of “seeking the [heavenly] city which is to come” (Hebrews 13:14) and God’s mandate for humanity to fill and rule over the earth? And in what ways has progress undermined that vision?

In Seeking the City, Chad Brand and Tom Pratt sketch out a biblical vision for how God providentially works throughout history as well as through society’s structures of politics and economy to cause His kingdom, the City of God, to come on earth. Complicating the pursuit of the ideal city is the fact that the ability to make a living is threatened and new pressures to conform to the rising world system will mount as Jesus has warned us. This book will help Christians to understand the times through the trifocal lens of the Bible, history, and theology and then to respond with wisdom to the many pressing issues of the day, including work, wealth, the size of government, taxation, welfare, the environment, and social justice.

“ Theologically grounded, historically conscious, and notably relevant to today’s world, Seeking the City presents an invaluable vision for Christian political engagement in the twenty-first century.”
—Art Lindsley, PhD, Vice President of Theological Initiatives, Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics

“A cogent argument for responsible free-market capitalism. They demonstrate that the conducting of business is, at its foundation, a moral activity.”
—Ken Keathley, Director of the L Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Editorial Reviews

Institute for Faith, Work & Economics - Dr Art Lindsley
Chad Brand and Tom Pratt examine how Scripture can inform our understanding of economics, politics, and society, stepping back from polarizing political language to ask, “What type of City should we be seeking?” Drawing on the whole scope of Scripture and lessons from two millennia of Church history, Brand and Pratt persuasively address this question and chart a practical and realistic way forward. Theologically grounded, historically conscious, and notably relevant to today’s world, Seeking the City presents an invaluable vision for Christian political engagement in the twenty-first century.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary - Ken Keathley
Seeking the City meets a crucial need for an evangelical theology of economics. Brand and Pratt provide a biblically informed model for understanding business practices and social activism, and they make a cogent argument for responsible free-market capitalism. They demonstrate that the conducting of business is, at its foundation, a moral activity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825443046
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications
  • Publication date: 11/1/2013
  • Pages: 912
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Pratt Jr. is president of Eagle Rock Ministries and is a Bible teacher, preacher, and freelance writer.

Chad Brand is professor of theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and associate dean for biblical and theological studies at Boyce college.

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Table of Contents

Part 1: The Way to the City: A Biblical Journey
1. Seeking the City: The Metanarrative of Scripture
2. The Narrative Literature of the Old Testament
3. Words to Live By
4. Wise Men and Singers
5. The Prophets and Justice
6. Conclusions from the Old Testament
7. The Life, Ministry, and Teachings of Jesus
8. The First-Century Church and Apostolic Teaching
9. A Better World and the Promise of the Future

Part 2: The Struggle for the City: Rome, Geneva, and the City on a Hill
10. Self-Denial and World-Denial in a Giant Empire of Extravagance
11. Using Wealth or Enjoying Wealth? From the Fathers to the Scholastics
12. The Reformation and Political Economy
13. Mercantilist Economics at Its Best (or Worst) in England and France
14. From England to America
15. Republicanism and Free Markets
16. Viva la Revolución!
17. A New Beginning: The New Nation as an Economic Leviathan
18. Economics and War
19. Rebuilding a New Nation
20. From the Great War to the Great Depression and Its New Deal
21. Pearl Harbor, Woodstock, and the Great Debate

Part 3: Awaiting the City: How Should We Then Live?
22. Western Civilization and the American Dream
23. Moral Complexities in the Twenty-First Century
24. The Morality of Market Economics
25. Social Justice and Distribution: Wealth, Poverty, and Human Need
26. The Spirit of Competitive Destruction: Creation, Ecology, and the Destiny of Man
27. Tending the Garden: Changing the World or Rational Compassion
28. Fickle Prophets, Biblical Realism, and Rational Compassion

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