Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Work in the Spirit, by Miroslav Volf
I can already tell that this book by Volf will be my most "technical read" so far; however, the intro. has already intrigued me greatly. Let me share a section with you, and I will plan to comment again on this work, once I am a little further along:
"I believe that economic systems should be judged primarily by three normative principles: freedom of individuals, satisfaction of the basic needs of all people, and protection of nature from irreparable damage. All three of these principles can be derived from the notion of ‘new creation,’ which in the present book functions as the main ethical norm. First, the concept of new creation implies guarding the individual’s dignity. Each person is created in the image of God and is called to a personal relation with Christ as His brother or sister. In economic life the individual is thus not to be treated as a thing but as a free and responsible agent. Second, the concept of new creation has implications for community. It implies practicing solidarity. Every person is called to be an heir with Christ in the community of God’s people. In economic life this should mobilize us to work for the fulfillment of everyone’s basic needs. In particular, it implies a preferential option for the poor. Third, the concept of new creation has implications for the natural environment. It implies the responsibility of preserving the integrity of nature. Nature is not a mere thing. Rather, the Bible teaches us that it suffers under corruptibility and will participate in the freedom of the children of God (Rom. 8:78ff.). In economic life this implies that protection of nature from irreparable damage must accompany any work on or in nature" (pp. 16,17).