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Friday Five: Christianity and Freedom, Economic Uncertainty, and More

On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes a call for decentralization, video from our recent event on evangelicals and public policy, and more. 1. Are Christianity and Freedom Compatible?: Jacqueline Otto rejects the popular idea that there is a dichotomy between Christianity and liberty.

For our conversation to be productive, we must not only engage with liberal Christians, but also non-religious people regarding the truth that liberty is compatible with Christianity. It was for liberty that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1).

2. Is America the Federal Government?: Channeling Thomas Jefferson, Alexis de Tocqueville and Calvin Coolidge, Ray Nothstine of the Acton Institute discusses the dangers of centralizing power in the hands of the federal government.

The American Framers designed a system of government that divided power. The Tenth Amendment granted to the states any powers that were not specifically enumerated as tasks for the federal government. By itself, the very notion of the Bill of Rights places definitive limitations on government and centralized power. It’s being ignored.

3. Is the Good Book good enough? Evangelical perspectives on public policy: Wednesday at AEI, a discussion cosponsored by AEI’s Values & Capitalism project and Hope College explored public policy engagement by the US evangelical community in recent decades, offering critique as well as recommendations for improved evangelical political engagement. 4. A Christian Approach to Economic Uncertainty: Taylor Barkley, writing for the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, describes how Christians should react to economic adversity and unpredictability.

Humanity’s God-given creativity means surprising solutions constantly spring up. Unpredictability in the market isn’t always negative – good surprises, solutions no one could have imagined or dreamed of, are a part of the market, too.

5. Five take-aways from Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s surprising new book: AEI’s David Shaywitz discusses key points in Mackey’s recent book, rejecting the perception of business as evil and emphasizing the virtue of decentralization.

They argue that the true purpose of business “is to improve our lives and to create value for stakeholders,”  and contend, “Far from being a necessary evil (as it is often portrayed), free-enterprise capitalism is an extraordinarily powerful system for eliciting, harnessing, and multiplying human ingenuity and industry to create value for others.”