Establishing the Boundaries of a Biblical Worldview

inflation

“The primary cause of financial struggle is simply not knowing the difference between an asset and a liability.”

SSo says Robert Kiyosaki in his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Economic categories are no longer what they were. It is now common to hear government officials say that the revenue they did not receive was a “cost” to the government.

Imagine going to the company accounting system and entering an amount in the costs of the company for revenue that was not obtained. “Let me see, we should have had another $10 million this year. Let’s put that in as a cost to the business. Better still, make it $10 billion.”

And you think corporate fiscal accountability is bad.

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If the [economic] problem is the shortage of money, why not allow private counterfeiting? Is it a form of theft? Then so is official counterfeiting. Will private counterfeiting debase the value of the currency and investments presently held by the public? Then so will official counterfeiting. Will private counterfeiting destroy the people’s faith in the existing currency unit? Then so will official counterfeiting. Will private counterfeiters lack the self-restraint needed to steal from the public slowly, and to debase the people’s holdings of money-denominated assets? Then we are arguing about time, not principle.

In short, if it is wrong and self-defeating for private counterfeiters, it is equally wrong and self-defeating for official counterfeiters. Yet the official counterfeiting still goes on. It is called progressive monetary policy.[1]

Footnotes    (↵back returns to text)
  1. From Ian Hodge, Baptized Inflation: A Critique of ‘Christian’ Keynesianism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1986), p. 137.↵back

Various currency paper banking and finance money savings

“Your silver is no longer pure, your wine is watered down.” (Isa.1:22 CJB)

Every time I read the book of Isaiah I cannot help but appreciate how relevant his words are to contemporary culture. Here, in this indictment against Israel, the prophet lists the sins of Israel. They were not just ‘spiritual’ in content, but it came down to practical realities and two of the most cherished items in any society, money and wine.

In Isaiah’s time, though the prophet spoke, he was ignored. Did that make his indictment any less real? In God’s providence, Isaiah received his call in about the year 740 B.C. It was no coincidence that at same time the city of Rome was born. God’s prediction of judgement delivered through the prophet was thus in preparation for an event yet over 800 years away. For not until the year 70 A.D. did the Romans bring an end to everything that Israel attempted to stand for. Not only the destruction of the Temple, but the disbursement of the people to other locations. The city of Jerusalem was laid waste.

The government itself has solicited and obtained the assistance of the population to jointly debase the money supply.


In our own time, it may be that we are not seeing the debasement of wine with water. Competition and government watchdogs keep an eye on this. But, in the words of Henry Hazlitt, “No subject is so much discussed today—or so little understood—as inflation.”[1]

In the case of money it is an entirely different story than that of wine, for the government itself has solicited and obtained the assistance of the population to jointly debase the money supply.

For too many people the words of Isaiah on the debasement of money are a curiosity. We do not have silver as our currency any longer. We have, in its place, pieces of paper (or in Australia, pieces of plastic) and token coinage that are a substitute for silver (or gold). At least, that’s how the paper currency came into existence in the first place, as ‘promissory notes’ redeemable in hard metal. But once the redemption option was removed, paper currency was free to be manipulated at the whim of whoever controls the manufacture and issuance of that currency.
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Footnotes    (↵back returns to text)
  1. Henry Hazlitt, The Inflation Crisis and How to Resolve It (Kindle edition, [1978] 2011, Loc. 89).↵back

“Today, as everyone knows, our productive plants are only operating at a fraction of their capacity, and still are producing goods that cannot be claimed by the amount of purchasing power available to the consumer.”

You could be forgiven if you thought this was a line out of John Maynard Keynes or one of his followers. But it isn’t. This quote is from a small booklet by E.S. Holter, The A B C of Social Credit. Social Credit is the name of a “theory” of economics developed by a British engineer, C.H. Douglas. My Ph.D. thesis was an analysis of Social Credit theory from an economic and biblical viewpoint.

Men would rather propose nutty economic models than pick up their Bible and apply the instructions God has given them to live by.

This quote makes very clear the ‘engine’ that drives all economic theories that are not Bible-based. That’s just a ‘theological’ way of saying ‘property based’. The very clear insight of von Mises is that he saw all economic theories turn on the issue of property rights—a moral and therefore theological issue.

Like Keynesian economics, the Social Creditors have a missing link: price theory. So instead they come up with fantastic statements such as that quoted above, then make their conclusion: The reason you don’t have enough money to buy all the available production is because someone (the Bankers, the Jews, the IMF, the government) is not creating enough money. Or if they are producing enough, then they are not distributing it equitably. If they just produced more and shared it around, then you and everyone else would have enough money to buy all the goods produced.

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In economics, things are not always as they appear.

The sky is falling. Doom is near. Buy this or that stock. Buy gold. Buy anything that is a hard asset. Get rid of paper.

Why?

The economy is falling.

Why?

Because house prices have fallen.

So?

Falling prices are only a problem to some people.”

Bankruptcies are up.

So?

Doom is nigh.

That’s funny, I thought you just told me that house prices are falling? This means the purchasing power of my money in relation to homes has gone up. How is that a disaster?

Silence.

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What Would a “Spiritual” Revival Look Like?

Charles Hodge, in his history of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, written in the 19th century, was critical of the revival period known as the Great Awakening. Why? His opinion seems to cut against common acceptance that this was a mighty work of revival, and that the Holy Spirit manifested Himself in a particular way during this period.

Charles Hodge (no known relation to this writer) would not accept this view so readily. In his opinion, the church was in a worse state two years after the Awakening than it was two years earlier. Thus, he was not so ready to accept the Awakening was the work of the Holy Spirit.

His criticism, therefore, begs the question. And if you allowed yourself to dream for a few minutes, what would a spiritual revival look like to you?

I dreamed a dream. There was a spiritual revival under way.
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