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Freedom and Capitalism: Essays on Christian Politics and Economics Review by Kim Kargbo

John W. Robbins
The Trinity Foundation
PO Box 68
Unicoi, TN 37692
423-743-0199
http://www.trinityfoundation.org

I've been hard-pressed to come up with an adequate description of this book. It is a hardcover, 650-page tome. Not really written as a book, Freedom and Capitalism is a collection of essays written by Mr. Robbins over a period of several decades. These essays run the gamut of topics related to freedom, capitalism, or economics. Part One includes 19 essays under the heading of "Freedom," ranging from "The Founder of Western Civilization" to "The Messianic Character of American Foreign Policy" to "The Ethics and Economics of Health Care" to "The Religious Wars of the Twenty-First Century." Part Two is a series of 12 essays on "Capitalism," ranging from "Teaching Economics from the Bible" to "The Roman Catholic Assault on Capitalism" (and other denominational assaults) to "Ecology: The Abolition of Man."

Mr. Robbins pulls no punches in his essays. He shoots straight and aims to make a very solid point. If you are not of a Reformed persuasion in your doctrine, you are not likely to like or appreciate Mr. Robbins' viewpoints. However, if you are Reformed, or at the very least open-minded, you will find this book to be intriguing despite the fact that the size and the title are somewhat off-putting initially. This book is geared at a high school level at a minimum. College students and adults will find it quite challenging. It is not a curriculum per se, but if you are developing your own economics course for your high schooler and want some deep, Biblical content that will cause your student to think, you need to make this a required resource.

I haven't had any of my children read this book yet, but I will require my high schooler to use at least some of these essays in his economics studies. The essays helped me to get a handle on economic concepts that I have been pondering but didn't know how to put into words. The essays also shed a bright light on history, both ancient and modern, and how ideologies and conceptual designs have evolved to shape our nation and our world into what it is today. There are some great cause-and-effect studies in this book. I would say that the publishers might have considered breaking it into more than one volume. It wouldn't be quite so intimidating that way.

Honestly, if I had seen this volume on a shelf, it is unlikely that I would have considered buying it--but I would have missed out. I hope I can find a way to interest my son in reading some of these essays and really pondering the hypotheses therein. I would recommend that if you have high schoolers who need a deep dive into Biblical history and economics or political science, you consider this book for your studies.

Product review by Kim Kargbo, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2010

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