Response to “Competition Among Religious Denominations: Adam Smith’s View”
AbstractIt is always enlightening to return to the works of an influential thinker of another era, such as Adam Smith, who addressed subjects in his day that are still relevant. And John Stapleford has done a superb job of putting Adam Smith’s thoughts on “denominational competition” before us. My subsequent comments are to be interpreted as reflecting entirely on the thinking of Adam Smith, and not on the work of Stapleford. He has set Smith’s thoughts before us faithfully, as I understand Smith’s thinking. Stapleford noted in his article that “Adam Smith was generally a weak theologian,” and it is this truth and its potential consequences that I wish to draw the reader’s attention to. And I wish to do this as an expansion on Stapleford’s comments on Smith’s “rejection of the innate indwelling of God’s righteous decrees,” and Stapleford’s observation that “The job of the church is to present God’s truth as revealed by the Holy Spirit in Scripture.” Five observations are in order, I believe.