Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Great insight into our current crisis

Carl Trueman, Chair of the department of Church History at Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia), has offered one of the most insightful and relevant reflections on the current economic and political crises that I’ve encountered.

I’ve cherry-picked a few of the choicer quotes below, but the entire essay is, I think, a must-read.

Regarding our current election, Trueman says:

Despite the Manichean, apocalyptic rhetoric that you get from both sides, the current American election is, indeed, an election about almost nothing, given that, if past records are anything to go by, a victorious Republican will likely be as socially liberal in practice as a Democrat, and a victorious Democrat as fiscally prudent (or not) as a Republican.

On who bears the responsibility for the economic collapse:

When we look at the crisis in the markets and try to play the blame-game, then we should avoid reducing the problem to one individual or even to groups. Cries of `It's the President', `It's Congress', `It's the Democrats', `It's the Republicans' and `It's the banks' all have a certain appeal. After all, it's always good to blame `them' rather than 'us.'

Why the markets didn’t self-correct:

Market forces are ultimately functions of human behaviour, albeit on a macro-level; and human beings, being as depraved and as blinded as they are, generate market forces which reflect that depravity.

How Christians should respond:

How should Christians respond to all this? I want to sow three thoughts in your minds. First, realize that, while free markets might be the best way of organizing economies at the moment, they are simply the best of a bad lot.

Read the entire essay here.

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