Darrow Miller and Friends

Global Economic Crisis – Part 2 of 6

Yes, we are faced with a global economic crisis. However, the root is a metaphysical crises. The Atheistic-Materialistic metaphysic that is at the foundation of the new global economy is insufficient to sustain either a personal-family economy or a healthy global economy.

The English word economics is derived from the Greek word oikonomia and literally means “household management.” It is derived from two Greek words: oikos – “house” or “household,” and nomos – “managing” or “caring,” and thus means to manage or steward the household. Oikonomia is related to another Greek word, oikologie – “the study of the house” from which we get the English word ecology.

Both words reflect concepts that are Biblically derived. When we ask the meaningful question “Whose house?” the answer is God’s house. The universe was made by God and for God. Human beings have been placed here as stewards of creation, managers of the household (Genesis 1:16-18; Psalm 8). As such, we are to both conserve (not rape) and progress (create abundance) Creation – God’s house. This metaphysic is radically different than the Atheistic-Materialistic paradigm that denies God, sees man as a consumer of scarce resources, and applies social Darwinism’s “survival of the fittest” as the chief operating principle. These two different paradigms will inevitably produce two very different worlds and economic results.

It was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who helped us understand the distinction between two economic models oikonomia and chrematistics. Chrematistics comes from the Greek word khrematizein – “to make money,” and from khrema meaning “money.” In contrast to oikonomia which stewards God’s house, chrematistics is a technical term for seeking the most efficient way to accumulate as much personal wealth as possible as fast as possible.

Oikonomia and chrematistics are rooted in two very different metaphysics–one is Theistic and one is Atheistic–and they have two very different value systems. Oikonomia is the management of the household to increase its health and value for the whole community and for future generations. Chrematistics is the manipulation of property and wealth for maximum gain of the individual in the shortest time frame.

Oikonomia benefits the entire community and cares for the created order. Chrematitistcs benefits the individual at the expense of the community and the destruction of created order. Oikonomia functions with long-term time frames and is interested in investment to strengthen corporations, the community, and the nation. Chrematitistics functions in short-term time frames–in trading stocks, bonds, and commodities for maximum gains in the shortest time for the individual manipulation.

The root of the current economic crisis is not money, it is the abandonment of Theistic economic principles for Atheistic chrematistic principles. To solve the economic crisis we must return to the sound principles of household management.

-Darrow L. Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).