It took me from 1973 until 2012 to complete my 31-volume set, An Economic Commentary on the Bible. That was the homework assignment.
Now I have to begin putting the pieces together. I want to write a large book that is comparable to Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations or Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action. But before I do this, I have to complete a preliminary work: The Covenantal Structure of Christian Economics.
I will use the five-point biblical covenant to structure the book. The generic covenantal structure is as follows: God, man, law, sanctions, and time. It applies as follows:
1. Transcendence/presence of God
The acronym is THEOS, the Greek word for God.
I must apply these in a framework that is exclusive to economic theory. This same structure, and this same decision-making process regarding the categories, applies to all of the social sciences. The five-point structure is the universal framework. The question then is the content with respect to each academic discipline. For example, is structures the field of government: sovereignty, authority, law, sanctions, and succession. This is government in the broadest sense: self-government, family government, civil government, and church government.
The scholar wants universality: general principles of interpretation. He also wants specificity: “my academic discipline, not someone else’s.” This is the challenge of determining the covenantal structure and content of any academic discipline.
The structure is clear. The content of the structure is not. The main problem is not identifying the structure. The main problem is identifying the most applicable, and also the most universal, categories of this structure.
Consider economics. When I say “economics,” I am not limiting this to market affairs, or what Mises called “catallactics.” I mean the issue of scarcity as it applies to four covenants: individual, family, state, church.
I could go with this structure:
1. God owns everything.
2. God delegates ownership.
3. Theft is immoral.
4. Covenant-keeping prospers.
5. Scarcity will decrease.
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