Steadfast Principles in a Changing World

James K.A. Smith

A few days ago, the New York Times opinion page included a short piece called “Steadfast Principles in a Changing World” by James K.A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, on the subject of Christianity and capitalism. Smith differentiates between the concept of free markets—which is not incompatible with Christianity—and modern-day capitalism. Insofar as capitalism today is wedded to a libertarian (anti-communitarian) ideology, a disregard of virtue, and a neglect of the poor, it runs contrary to the Christian faith.

Incidentally, I am currently reading The Economy of Desire: Christianity and Capitalism in a Postmodern World by Daniel Bell (Baker, 2012), which is a part of the series The Church and Postmodern Culture, edited by Smith.

Smith’s blog can be found at

About Kyle Dillon

A teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), assistant pastor of theological instruction at Riveroaks Reformed Presbyterian Church, and theology/languages teacher at Westminster Academy in Memphis, Tennessee.

One Response to “Steadfast Principles in a Changing World”

  1. I enjoyed the little bit by Smith. It seems odd to me, though, that given his interests and emphases in Desiring and Imagining he did not say anything about how the practices inherent in capitalistic ideology might function as alternative material practices that are shaping our ultimate loves to desire a kingdom that is not the kingdom of Christ.

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