I previously reviewed the spectacular Visual Latin curriculum produced by Compass Cinema. Now Compass is offering an economics program that is just as great as the Latin offering. (They’re having a 30% off sale right now. Get on that!)
Economics for Everybody is a biblical economics program for (almost) everybody. It is unapologetically Christian. The cornerstone of the program is “God owns everything” and the “north star principle of stewardship”: God has made man his stewards who under authority of God’s ownership manages property for the owner’s benefit.
R.C. Sproul, Jr. is an excellent speaker (it must be genetic) gives 20-25 minute lectures. His engaging, clear explanation of basic economic concepts had me saying, “Oh! So that’s what they mean by (fill in the blank)!” more than once. Each video is animated with great public domain (read: old) footage. The highlight of the series was in episode 8 with Charlie Chaplin as a metaphor for government. It was so perfect, I cried.
The 12 lessons build on each other and provide a thorough foundation for thinking biblically about economics. The lessons are:
- And God Created Economics: Stewardship in God’s Image
- The Economic Problem of Sin: Law, Liberty and Government
- The Path from Work to Wealth: Production, Property and Tools
- The Route From Scarcity to Plenty: Money, Markets and Trade
- The Role of the Entrepreneur: Capital, Calculation and Profit
- A Tale of Two Theologies, Part 1: From God to Politics
- A Tale of Two Theologies, Part 2: Economic Philosophies and Systems
- Government Intervention: Basic Principles and Education
- The Two Mysteries of Monetary Policy: Inflation and Depressions
- The Welfare and Corporate States of America: The Cost of Redistribution
- Economics Has Consequences: The Real Effects of Sin
- Kingdom Economics
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(Yes, the producers eschew the Oxford Comma. It’s unfortunate, but not a deal breaker.)
Let me be clear: this is a truly counter-culture curriculum, even for many Christians. For example, the statement “God-given property rights” is unbelievably counter culture in today’s redistributionist society, but it was fundamental to the understanding of our founding fathers. Like his dad, Sproul does a great job of describing a concept (say inflation) and then analyzing through a biblical world view. Be prepared to have some of your assumptions challenged, and be prepared for some hard discussions with your kids.
Speaking of kids, either this isn’t primarily meant for school-age kids, or he forgets his audience. Although this would work great in as an adult study, not many middle school or high school kids are “sitting around the table with their wives and children.” I laughed, but in fact it would be great for individual or group adult study, as well as for middle and high school students. Actually, this would be an excellent parent/child group discussion for a youth group.
We plan to use it for our 12 year old. I had my 10 year old watch it, but it was clearly out of her depth right now. The program comes with a study guide that I downloaded to our kindles. Each lesson contains scripture readings, an outline, a short study guide and discussion questions. For high school students or those who want a more thorough understanding, a textbook is suggested as well as additional reading. We won’t do all the add-ons, but it’s nice to know it’s available if we want to revisit it in high school. (Note, I know nothing about the quality of the textbook suggested. In fact, the word “textbook” makes me break out in hives, but it’s probably okay.)
To sum up: I highly recommend this program for anyone wanting a biblical understanding of economics and for middle and high school students studying economics. Right now you can get the program for an amazing $29 through the end of the month. It will be $45 starting next month, still an amazing deal. But honestly if you don’t take advantage of 33% off, you really need an economics program, don’t you?
*Disclaimer: Compass Cinema is giving me a free digital curriculum for reviewing, which did not influence the review at all. But I am glad I didn’t pre-order before I found that out.