Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Review of Godonomics by Chad Hovind

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Godonomics

by Chad Hovind

 

The main purpose of Godonomics was to provide a biblical perspective on economics. The author, Chad Hovind, is the pastor of Horizon Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. The book essentially argued that God has provided three major economic principles in Scripture: personal property rights, incentive, and personal freedom. In commanding the people of Israel not to cover or steal (Exodus 20:15, 17), God was acknowledging the right of individuals to own property. In instructing the Christians to forbid those who refused to work to eat, God was providing incentive for work (2 Thessalonians 3:10). In encouraging others to give and not forcing them to give, God was acknowledging the freedom of individuals to use their finances however they felt was best. The rest of the book essentially fleshes out these three principles and how other systems (Marxism, socialism , etc.) ultimately violate these principles.

 

For the most part, I enjoyed the book. I am not overly interested in politics or economic theory, but the book was interesting. Hovind communicated his ideas clearly in the book, often communicating complex issues in simple terms. He also did a good job providing illustrations and examples. The book could have been extremely dry, but his use of personal stories and cultural issues kept the reader engaged in the book. It should be noted that Hovind essentially argued for capitalism, and I tend to lean towards capitalism as the best economic model, so I found much of the book “agreeable.” Those who dislike capitalism will likely dislike the book, since it is a defense of capitalism and free-market enterprise.

 

My only complaint was the simplicity of the book. Hovind made difficult concepts easy to grasp, but sometimes he oversimplified the issue. Based on a quick reading of this book, one might be tempted to think that the solution to government and economic problems is a quick fix, but this is misleading. While I do agree with the basic principles he set forth (personal property rights, incentive, and personal freedom), I think it is an oversimplification to say that less government involvement and lower tax rates would solve our problems. I believe they would help, but I am not convinced our problems would disappear.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the book. Hovind was clear and engaging, and he provided a reasonable (although sometimes shallow) defense of capitalism. This book will benefit those who agree with capitalism and want to better understand how it functions, and it will benefit those who disagree with capitalism but want to understand how proponents of capitalism and free-market enterprise think.

 

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Time to Catch Up…

The last few weeks have been crazy busy for me (which is why I haven’t posted in a while). Between work, family, and seminary, I have been preoccupied with a variety of important tasks. The next few weeks, however, things should slow down a little bit. So, I intend to post a few book reviews and some random posts. Stay tuned…

Church History and Modern Theology

Some may wonder why seminaries teach church history classes. Is it really necessary for pastors to learn about key events and key persons from the past? I would argue that church history is not only necessary, it is essential. Church history helps familiarize pastors with major theological controversies of the past, which in turn helps prepare them for theological controversies today.

 

Most of the theological issues today have already been addressed and debated at some point in church history. As Solomon said, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, ESV). Many “new” theological trends are simply old heresies warmed up. The following issues were addressed by the early church:

 

The Deity of Christ – In the 4th century, a man named Arius denied the full divinity of Jesus Christ. This teaching, which became known as Arianism, presented a major challenge to the early church and the biblical teaching concerning the person of Christ. In 325, the Council of Nicaea defended the deity of Christ and rejected the teachings of Arius.

 

The Depravity of Man – In the 4th and 5th century, a man named Pelagius basically denied the sinfulness of man. Pelagius argued that man was capable, if he so chose, of avoiding sin and choosing good. Augustine strongly challenged Pelagius’ views, and orthodoxy eventually won out. The early church recognized that Scripture teaches that man is not good; he is born with a sinful nature and is a child of wrath “by nature” (Ephesians 2:3, ESV).

 

The Trinity – Many people and groups have challenged the Trinity throughout church history. Sabellius, a teacher from the 3rd century, denied the Trinity and argued that God is one Person who manifests Himself in three “modes.” This view was at odds with the Apostles Creed, and the Council of Chalcedon rejected modalism and affirmed the Trinity.

 

What is interesting about the teachings listed above is that people still embrace them today. In the mid-20th century, the “modernists” or “liberals” denied the deity of Jesus Christ, and Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus was God. Some Christians today refuse to accept the biblical teaching that man is a sinner by nature and by choice. Certain groups (Oneness Penecostals and Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example) reject the Trinity. These heretical teachings, which the early church rejected, are alive and well today. Solomon was right. “There is nothing new under the sun.”

 

Studying church history will help pastors and Christians become familiar with the theological controversies, show them how the early church responded to these controversies, and help them defend orthodoxy and biblical truth. Far from being boring and unnecessary, church history helps pastors and Christians deal with false teaching by providing examples of how previous generations contended for the truth. If you are looking for a place to start, I would recommend Gregg Allison’s Historical Theology. It is part history, part theology, and it traces the historical development of all the key doctrines of Scripture.

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The Doctrine of Scripture

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to fill in for my dad (the pastor of the church where I serve on staff) and continue the series on “Doctrine: Why It Matters.” My message focused on the doctrine of Scripture. Using 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and other passages, I discussed the inspiration, inerrancy, reliability, authority, sufficiency, and canonicity of Scripture. I had a list of resources to recommend on the topic, but I forgot to mention them or direct people to the resource desk to pick them up. So, I have included them here. These books were beneficial and helped me prepare my message. Hopefully they will benefit you as well. Click on the link below to check them out!!!

 

Resources

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