In Godonomics: How to Save Our Country and Protect Your Wallet Through Biblical Principles of Finance, Chad Hovind presents a case for economics God’s way, as the title would suggest. He hopes the book will “create a new context to think, dialogue, and reason together as fellow Americans, rather than raise issues that will be used to demonize each other” (xiii).
Hovind writes with Scripture as his shaping force and analyzes economic issues such as budgeting, planning, work, profit, capitalism vs. socialism/communism from a roundabout way: starting with “what God would say to” a certain influential leader such as Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, Jim Wallis, Alan Greenspan, and more.
Hovind presents a clear case for how God’s principles apply to government and personal finances that are understandable for the economist and non-economist alike. His writing style is clear and very readable, explaining economic principles through explaining biblical principles through clear illustrations, historical figures, personal stories, quoting economists and thinkers like Milton Friedman, Arthur Brooks, and C.S. Lewis, and even lacing in references from The Princess Bride, Star Wars, Monty Python, and Saturday Night Live.
One thing I appreciated about Hovind’s approach is that it dealt with Scripture as the foundation and engaged with sound economic theory and historical examples. This approach is a breath of fresh air for a few of reasons.
(1) People today don’t like to mix Christianity and Politics. But Hovind correctly realizes that if Jesus is Lord of all and Scripture speaks to all of life—that has big implications for our current political and economic issues.
(2) People today form their opinions today based on emotional arguments and bumper sticker phrases—which manipulate and present a very limited perspective of the issue.
(3) Many people today do not know history or economics—but that doesn’t stop them from having strong opinions about economic policy. Having a clear and biblical understanding of economic principles clear up a lot of confusion out there today—and Hovind’s work helps bring understanding of those principles.
The way the book is organized left me scratching my head a few times. Chapters are grouped with titles “If God Were Talking to ______” and then filled in the blank with one of the historical/influential leaders mentioned above–then included a subtitle explaining what the chapter is about, i.e. “What Would God Say to John Maynard Keynes about Spending: How an Economic System based on Consumption Violates Biblical Teaching.” Although this does not take away from the goal of the book, or the book’s achievement of its goal, but it did confuse me at times having two chapters on budgeting (one for Keynes and one for FDR) instead of one chapter, and organizing by person, rather than topic. This organization would likely confuse some newbies to economics, even though the material is explained clearly. Even with that unusual organization, I enjoyed Godonomics and the mention of historical examples, ideas, and policies that greatly added to the discussion and practicality of the work.
Overall, I really liked Godonomics and would recommend it. I thought it was very readable, informative, and truthful. I think it is written in a way to be helpful for Christians new to the world of economics and also informative and challenging for Christian economists. Godonomics should prove very helpful for many Americans for years to come.
Another recommended read is “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem” by Jay Richards.
See what Chad Hovind has to say about the four different types of greed.
I received this book from Multnomah Publishers in exchange for providing a fair and honest review.
Below is the trailer for Godonomics: