Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?
Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist? tackles head-on a persistent myth that has stymied individual freedom in many parts of the world. That myth takes many forms, but reduces to this: “You can’t be for capitalism or free markets and be a follower of Jesus at the same time.”
For the first time in a short and readable form, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) president Lawrence W. Reed debunks these misconceptions in powerful, convincing ways. Though he frequently references Scripture, Reed makes it plain at the start that one doesn’t have to be a Christian to understand the importance of proper interpretation of Scripture, as well as history and economics. People who simply want sound analysis or good history will appreciate it even if they have no faith.
By examining the words of Jesus in the context of their time and place, Reed shows Jesus never called for the political process to rearrange wealth. He denounced envy. He stressed choice, accountability and private property. He endorsed keeping one’s word and honoring contracts. He emphasized principles of personal character and the Golden Rule. These things are all difficult to reconcile with political force.
Now, when anyone suggests that the teachings of Jesus are in any way incompatible with free markets or capitalism, defenders of free markets can provide concise and conclusive responses. There is no other publication that does the job as fully or is as accessible as Rendering Unto Caesar.