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Redeeming Capitalism from the Top Down

This is the 2nd in a series introducing the book Redeeming Capitalism by Ken Barnes. You can pick up the start of this series here.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth;

for the first heaven and the first earth passed away.

Revelation 21:IA

"The capitalism we have, as I have said before, is the capitalism we have created. It has evolved over the centuries from the capitalism described by Adam Smith in the 18th century (traditional) to the modern capitalism observed by Max Weber in the early twentieth century, to our current postmodern form of capitalism.


Then and now, capitalism reflects cultural values. If we want a different kind of capitalism – virtuous capitalism – to emerge, we need to begin to change the social, political, theological and ethical drivers that have formed our economic system from the beginning (see chart below).


We cannot do this simply by changing the laws that govern our economic activities, although some changes would no doubt result from such efforts.


Capitalism can be changed only through a wholesale change of hearts and minds as people consciously seek to create an economic system that serves the common good."

[Upcoming will be twelve related posts. Each post will be dedicated to each of these drivers as regards Virtuous Capitalism. We will add links to each post as they publish here: PURPOSE; CAPITAL; NATURE OF WORK; METHOD OF WORK; ETHIC; ACCOUNTABILITY; ONTOLOGY; THEOLOGY; GEOGRAPHY; EPOCH; OUTPUT; and SOCIOLOGY]


"Redeeming capitalism is not a project; it is a mission. Missions take faith, time, and commitment, and history has shown these models to be successful. Missionaries understand a high calling from God and use the tools necessary to make their calling a reality. The tools at our disposal are powerful: faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, courage, temperance, wisdom, and, of course, common grace. But they will only be as effective as our willingness to use them. As Aristotle and Aquinas both remind us, there is no recipe for the attainment of virtue – it is forged in the crucible of practice – and there is no substitute for a relentless appeal to conscience and empathy" (Barnes, p. 206) (Emphasis ours throughout).

We at are fond of the phrase, “Questions are the engines of thought and action.” From that posture, we invite you to give thought to a few of our questions.

  • Do you agree that capitalism reflects cultural values? If you think not, why? 

  • Do you agree that capitalism can be changed through a change of hearts and minds? If you think not, why?

  • What influence or pressure do you think is necessary to change the hearts and minds of business leaders? Of politicians?

  • What laws need to be restored, or changed, in support of redeeming capitalism?

How might these questions prod you to re-think your perspective of capitalism? How might these questions prod you to make different marketplace decisions? We'd love to hear your answers and so invite you to share them with us.

Stay tuned for future excerpts of Redeeming Capitalism. Or. Why wait for us? Buy and read a copy for yourself now.

Want to help create a better future - professionally, morally, and financially?

Buy now, or get a free sample here >>

"This book merits close, sustained attention as a compelling move beyond both careless thinking and easy ideology."—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"Better Capitalism is a sincere search for a better world."—Cato Institute



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