Economics: A Student's Guide

By Greg Forster, Series edited by David S. Dockery

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We live in a world full of economic troubles.

Families struggle to make ends meet, organizations struggle to make payroll, and societies struggle to deal with generational poverty and rampant debt. Only by recovering a theological view of economics can we hope to think faithfully about our economic challenges. Exploring principles outlined in Scripture and economic thought throughout church history, this book lifts our eyes to a higher reality that lies behind economic systems, theory, and policy so we can wisely steward the world that God has given us.

Read Chapter 1


Greg Forster

Greg Forster (PhD, Yale University) serves as the director of the Oikonomia Network at the Center for Transformational Churches at Trinity International University. He is a senior fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the editor of the blog Hang Together, and a frequent conference speaker.

Product Details

Category: Academic
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 128
Size: 5.25 in x 7.75 in
Weight: 4.92 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-3923-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3923-7
ISBN-UPC: 9781433539237
Case Quantity: 108
Published: August 27, 2019

Table of Contents

Series Preface

  1. The Economy: How We Steward the World Together
  2. Justice and Mercy: Key Scriptural Teachings for Economic Arrangements
  3. The Ancient Crisis: From Natural to Supernatural Economics
  4. The Medieval Crisis: From Conventional to Reforming Economics
  5. The Modern Crisis: From Static to Dynamic Economics
  6. Economic Idols and Economic Wisdom: From Ideological Captivity to Theological Transformation

Questions for Reflection
Resources for Further Study
General Index
Scripture Index


“What’s so great about economics? When we understand economics better, we understand God better, we understand ourselves better, and we understand each other better. But more than that, we begin to grasp how God intends for us to serve him—and each other—in the economic realm. According to Greg Forster, we are participants in the economic realm at every single moment of our lives. Your choices about where to eat or what toothbrush to buy may seem mundane, but Forster wants you to see them as deeply profound. When you begin to see yourself in relation to the created order, as Forster argues that you should, economics becomes no ‘dismal science’; instead it becomes the most hopeful social science there is!”
Victor V. Claar, BB&T Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise and Associate Professor of Economics, Florida Gulf Coast University; coauthor, Economics in Christian Perspective

“Forster weaves together a masterful account of economic and intellectual history with a deep understanding of the theological issues facing modern Christians.”
P. J. Hill, Professor of Economics Emeritus, Wheaton College

“In this short book, Forster accomplishes what far larger economics books fail to achieve, by laying out a theological, moral, and historical foundation for economics. He leaves the technical details to others and instead gives his readers an approachable introduction to human agency, cooperation, and well-being, while also providing a tour through economic and intellectual history. The result is a perfect complement to an economics or business education, or an excellent guide to economics for those in the humanities. I want all my students to read this book.”
Steven McMullen, Associate Professor of Economics, Hope College; Executive Editor, Faith & Economics

“Each morning we wake up to an economic world, yet we often fail to grasp the wonder, complexities, and challenges of modern free-market economies. Few writers today are more intellectually robust and fairhanded, while also engaging and accessible, than Greg Forster. Forster’s deep grasp of theology as well as economics brings a rare and welcome historical perspective, helping the reader grasp the rich contours of the past and wisely engage the present realities of a free-market economy. Embracing a gospel centricity, Forster rightly asserts that the gospel demands a new economic life and paves the way for more virtuous economic exchange. Forster’s book is a treasure for all who desire a greater grasp of modern economic thought and its integration with Christian theology. I highly recommend it.”
Tom Nelson, Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church, Kansas City; President, Made to Flourish; author, Work Matters and The Economics of Neighborly Love

Economics: A Student’s Guide introduces economics to undergraduates in a manner that is faithful to history and Christian theological commitments. Specialization, exchange, the role of money, competition, and economic growth are framed in the light of the scriptural values of justice and mercy. Students are invited into a consideration of how neighborly love is expressed in the marketplace through productive work, compassionate care for the poor, challenges to economic injustice, and encouragement of creativity. Current secular assumptions that incline us to blindly trust the market or political intervention are exposed, and in contrast, God’s vision for restoration of economic harmony is explored. Any student wanting an introduction to how the distinctive wisdom of Scripture informs our view of the economy and the study of economics will surely benefit from this book.”
Edd Noell, President, Association of Christian Economists; Professor of Economics and Business, Westmont College; coauthor, Reckoning with Markets and Economic Growth