Questions

What books have most strongly influenced you?

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Books that strongly influenced me:

After book (1) below, it is an impossible question for me to answer exactly. Many books have influenced me at different times. Here are eleven that influenced me quite early in my Christian life (all but #3 and #10 and #11 while I was still in college, before I went to seminary), plus #12, which influenced me many years later.

(1) The Bible, far beyond all other books combined.
(2) John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
(3) Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology
(4) J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism
(5) Cornelius VanTil, The Defense of the Faith
(6) D. M. McIntyre, The Hidden Life of Prayer
(7) John Murray, Principles of Conduct
(8) John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied
(9) B. B. Warfield, The Plan of Salvation
(10) B. B. Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible
(11) Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology
(12) John Wimber, Power Evangelism

Do you have any books to recommend on a Christian view of economics?

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My first recommendation is Jay Richards’ excellent book, Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem (New York: HarperOne, 2009).  In addition, see my annotated list of other helpful (and not so helpful) books on economics here:

  • 1. David Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. (1999). Landes is professor emeritus of economics at Harvard and also taught at George Washington University.  This is a masterful survey of the history of economic development in the entire world, by region, over the last 500 years.
  • 2. Lawrence E. Harrison, The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change a Culture and Save It from Itself (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006). Argues in extensive detail that culture makes all the difference in economic development, and explains how cultures can change. Pp. 88-89 give a table showing vastly greater per capita GDP in Protestant-background countries than for any other religious group: the rest are, in order: (2) Jewish, (3) Catholic, (4) Orthodox, (5) Confucian, (6) Buddhist, (7) Islam, (8) Hindu.
  • 3. Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. An excellent, insightful book about the need for people to have the right to own property and relatively easy access to obtain a publicly documented title to that property, in order for an economy to grow and people to overcome poverty.
  • 4. William Easterly, The Elusive Quest for Growth (he has also written The White Man’s Burden more recently but I have not read it yet). Why aid to Africa has never really solved the problems of poverty in Africa.
  • 5. P. T. Bauer, Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion.  Bauer died in 2002. He was emeritus professor of economics at London School of Economics and a specialist in development economics. He tells in detail why all the British aid to African countries over decades did more harm than good: It distorted local economies and entrenched corrupt governments in power, and had many other negative consequences.
  • 6. Robert Guest, The Shackled Continent (anecdotal; written by Africa editor for The Economist). He describes in vivid detail the barriers to economic development in Africa.
  • 7. Brian Griffiths, The Creation of Wealth (taught at London School of Economics and was adviser to Margaret Thatcher; now in House of Lords). Gives principles for a Christian perspective on how economies grow.
  • 8. Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist . Lomborg shows that we are not running out of any natural resource, and we won’t run out in the future. But the world is short on knowledge of true facts about the state of natural resources.  (Lomborg is a professor of statistics from Denmark.)
  • 9. Several writings of Julian Simon, esp. The Resourceful Earth, and The State of Humanity, and The Ultimate Resource II. (Simon was a professor of business and economics in Maryland.)
  • 10. Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa (2009).  Moyo is from Zambia, has a MA from Harvard and a Ph.D. in economics from Oxford. She was a consultant for the World Bank and then worked at Goldman Sachs. Her argument foreign aid has done more harm than good for Africa and has trapped nations in poverty: It entrenches corrupt African governments in power, provides “fungible” money that funds profligate lifestyles, creates internal conflicts for control of vast wealth, removes government accountability to the citizens of a country, creates a mentality of dependence, prevents beneficial investment, and has never brought any African country out of poverty. But she wrongly believes that if foreign aid is stopped, good governance “will naturally emerge” (p. 143.).

B. Here are some books on economic systems in general, and the great flaws of socialism and government control:

  • * 11. Jay Richards, Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not The Problem (HarperOne, 2009). This is now my #1 recommendation for people who want to understand economic systems from a Christian point of view.
  • 12. Arthur Brooks, The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future. (Basic Books, 2010). Brooks argues that what gives people genuine satisfaction in the economic realm is not to be given money but to achieve “earned success” – the opportunity to have a responsibility (even if small) and to do well at it.
  • 13. Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom. Hayek was Austrian and fled from Hitler. He became an economics professor at London School of Economics. He watched with dismay as socialism grew in England. He explains how government control expands inch by inch until it takes over all of life. This is an all-time classic that was written in 1944, with a 50th anniversary edition released in 2004.
  • 14. Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson.  Hazlitt was a long time editor at the Wall Street Journal. This book was first published in 1946 and has become a classic. It is a wonderful book that explains how every action in the economy has more than one consequence, and when we realize this we can understand better how an economy works.

C. Here are two books that I found unpersuasive (or wrong) in terms of explaining why nations become wealthy: 

  • 14. Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel (I found this unconvincing because it was completely materialistic and deterministic, from an entirely evolutionary perspective, allowing no role for human choice and decisions and initiative. He thinks physical geography determines everything!)
  • 15. Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty (I found this unconvincing for the most part, because I heard him saying that we have given X amount of money in the past but that has not solved the problem so the solution is that we need to give X + 1 or even 2X the amount and that will solve the problem). Sachs is an economics professor but he also has another job advising the United Nations how to give such money away.

How can I find your book Systematic Theology in other languages? Updated April 24, 2016

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Translation contact information for Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem (Leicester, England: IVP, and Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1994). 1290 pages.

Translation permission for Systematic Theology is handled by Stephen Tyers at InterVarsity Press in Leicester, England. E-mail: st@ivpbooks.com

Translation permission for Bible Doctrine (528 pages) and Christian Beliefs (160 pages) is handled by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan. (616-698-6900). Contact Seamus Dillion seamus.dillion@zondervan.com or Angela Tegg angela.tegg@zondervan.com.

The following information is current as of April 24, 2016:

A. Completed translations of Systematic Theology:

1. Korean (in 3 vols)
Eunsung Publishers
126-60 Sangdo 5-dong
Dongjak-gu
Seoul
Korea
Fax: 82-2-813-9072
Email: esp4404@hotmail.com

2. Portuguese
Edicoes Vida Nova,
Caixa Postal 21.486,
CEP 04602-970,
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Phone/Fax (+55 11) 5666-1911
Email: vidanova@vidanova.com.br

3. Arabic (in 3 vols)
The Program for Theological Education by Extension
P.O. Box 1931
Amman 11118
Jordan
Phone/Fax: (962) 6 4610982
Email: jiries@ptee.org or wickman@ptee.org or weymouth@ptee.org

4. Russian – published early 2005. (MIRT publishers). ISBN 5-88869-160-7

5. Romanian: published in late 2004 or perhaps January 2005. Slavic Gospel Association in Europe has taken leadership on this but I don’t have contact info.

6. Spanish: published in 2007. Teología Sistemática (Miami, FL: Editorial Vida, 2007). ISBN 13-978-0-8297-4627-3.

7. French: published in 2010. Théologie Systématique. (Charols, France: Excelsis SARL, 2010). ISBN 978-2-7550-0105-1. www.XL6.com.

8. Chinese (Mandarin): published (in traditional Chinese characters) in May, 2011. Christian Renewal Mission, Blk 203 Hougang Street 21, #02-89, Singapore 530203. E-mail: crmsg77@yahoo.com.sg or crm7hk@gmail.com. Translator: Paul Chang. The contract is for publication in both “Regular Script” and “Simplified Script.”

9. Amharic (in Ethiopia): vol. 1 published early 2013, vol. 2 expected soon after that. Published by Bible Based Books (SIM Publishing) and Kale Heywet Church.

10. German: Published June, 2013, by Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft.
http://www.vkwonline.de/biblische-dogmatik.html.
Also available from Amazon.com in Germany: http://www.amazon.de/Biblische-Dogmatik-Einf%C3%BChrung-systematische-Theologie/dp/3862690660

11. Jinghpaw (Kachin people – Northern Myanmar): volume received 4-7-14. Sponsored by Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. [no publisher, location, or date given in the volume]

B. Translations under contract and in progress for Systematic Theology, but not yet published

1. Italian: Permission granted March 2, 2010 (Edizioni GBU).

2. Albanian: Permission granted to Center for Christian Leadership in Tirana. They are aiming for a digital publication, probably in 2017.

3. Tamil: in process (Sri Lanka)

4. Nepali: permission given April 4, 2007.

5. Swahili: Discussions underway.

6. Tajik: for Tajikistan. Agreement signed Nov. 5, 2010.

7. Hindi: for India: Agreement in negotiation, Dec. 2010.

C. Translations of Bible Doctrine (528 pages)

The shorter form of Systematic Theology, a 528-page book called Bible Doctrine, has been made available in some foreign translations. I am aware of the following:

1. Chinese: 3 vols. in Chinese (3 vols., published April 2002). It was produced by Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Hong Kong, and the e-mail address for the publisher is publish@fes.org.hk. The ISBN is 962-8266-6.

2. Spanish: Published as Doctrina Biblica by Vida publishers (Miami), 2005. (Vida is a subsidiary of Zondervan).

2. Turkish: translation of Bible Doctrine published in 2005. (Yeni Yaşam Yayınları) ISBN: 9758318829
www.yyyayinlari.com

3. Mongolian: Translation of Bible Doctrine published in 2008.
Publisher: Библийн Сургалтын Төв
http://www.ubtc.edu.mn/
Address: Bibliin Surgaltiin Tuv, Bayazurkh District, 2nd khoroo, 805 dugaar angiin khashaand, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Mailing Address: POB-473, Ulaanbaatar-49, Mongolia
Phone: 976-11-462909
Fax: 976-11-462910

D. Translation permission, DVDs, audio files, other notes:

2. DVD lecture series: There is now a set of 20 of my theology lectures, 40 minutes each plus 15 min. Q & A, on DVDs. These lectures cover the 20 basic doctrines discussed in Christian Beliefs, a short, 160-page version of Systematic Theology.
The DVDs are available from ClearCutMedia in the UK. http://www.clearcutmedia.tv/shop/
(Available in European format but not yet in US/ Canada format – expected in early or mid-2010.)

3. Audio lecture series: Wayne Grudem taught through the entire contents of Systematic Theology for an adult Bible class at Scottsdale Bible Church in 2005-2009. Most of these audio lessons (plus outlines) are available from this web site:
http://www.christianessentialssbc.com/messages/

4. CD of Systematic Theology for installation on your computer: Available from Bits&Bytes Computer Resources, 623 N. Iowa Ave, Whitefish, MT 59937. E-mail: info@bitsbytescomputer.com. Phone 800-361-7280. fax 406-862-0876.

5. Other electronic forms: Systematic Theology is available in several electronic forms from www.Amazon.com.
It is also available from OliveTree.com for several PDA formats.