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Friday Five: Christian Political Engagement, High Tuition Costs, and More

On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes thoughts on Christian political engagement, a parable about gasoline, an explanation of high tuition costs, and more. 1. Now, But Not Yet: Augustinian Sensibility in the City of Man: Luke Holladay argues that we must recognize the great period of transition that we live in and let that knowledge inform our political engagement.

The truth is, we all struggle with the temptation to ignore the “not yet” of this present age. Whether it takes shape in instant gratification or even good intentions promoting bad policies, our entire culture seems bent on the rallying cry of “now!” We should desire to fix our broken systems, but we must temper this ambition by thinking seriously about how to live in the tension of the City of God and the City of Man.

2. How Do We Break the Cycle of Higher Tuition and More Debt?: Daniel Lin, a lecturer at American University, and Learn Liberty team up to describe why government subsidies for college education may do more harm than good. 3. Five Reasons Why Christians Should Care About Economic Freedom: Dr. Anne Bradley, from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, offers convincing reasons for why economic freedom aligns well with a Christian worldview.

While measures of economic freedom might not have been developed by Christians, these measurements rely on truths about the nature of man and God’s intentions for humanity, which are biblical. God’s truth will set us free, and economic freedom is part of the fallen world’s path to flourishing.

4. Law, Liberty, and Life Together: Jordan Ballor of the Acton Institute discusses the nature of humanity before and after the fall, describing how law is properly used to secure true liberty.

As Lord Acton said, “Liberty is the harmony between the will and the law.” In this sense, then, law and legal constraint protect true liberty, and prevent our earthly existence from degenerating into a hellish existence, a libertinism in which our anti-social desires are given full rein. Law thus allows the space for life together, even if in a limited and provisional way, which only hints at the community of peace, love, and joy that “no eye has seen” and “no ear has heard” (1 Cor. 2:9 NIV).

5. How Three Neighbors Got Gas: A Parable: Tyler Watts, writing for The Freeman, uses a parable to explain why a price system works more efficiently than central planning ever could.

You can see why Adam Smith marveled at this process, stating that, within the price system, people are “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of [their] intention.” You can see why Frédéric Bastiat attributed the smooth functioning of inordinately complex world markets to the hand of “Providence.” And you can see why Leonard Read described the market process in terms such as “wonder” and “miracle.”