Is Capitalism Anti-Christian?

Escape From the Money Trap, by Henry Clark (Judson, 1973, 124 pp., $2.35 pb), Illusions of Success, by John Raines (Judson, 1975, 128 pp., $5.95), The Gospel According to the Wall Street Journal, by Carnegie Calian (John Knox, 1975, 114 pp., $3.95 pb), and Notes Towards a Christian Critique of Secular Economic Theory, by A. B. Cramps (Institute for Christian Studies [229 College St., Toronto MST 1R4 Canada], 1975, 80 pp., $1 pb), are reviewed by John E. Wagner, attorney, OklahomaCity, Oklahoma.

Here are four books dealing with the economic system, God, man, and mammon. Three of them cover essentially identical territory, pointing out apparent failures of the free-enterprise economy, the plight of the low-income disadvantaged, and the privileges of the wealthy, and purporting to set forth some Christian solutions to these inequities in our increasingly complex, technological age.

Without question, some of the criticisms are all too true, and Christians are under scriptural injunction to do some hard and serious thinking about them, and to assess themselves and society in general in the light of the gospel message. Nevertheless I suspect that the facts have been, wittingly or not, distorted to make a case for radical economics, redistribution of the wealth, and a headlong slide toward a more tightly controlled economy, resulting in further socialization of the economic system in America.

Henry Clark’s book, Escape From the Money Trap, starts out with a discussion of “consumerism, the yoke of mammon.” In it he lays out very powerfully the grip of materialism on American life, and validly warns us in the words of the prophets, and the Gospels, of the sinfulness of serving mammon instead ...

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