Crumbling Foundations: a biblical critique of modern money

"Crumbling Foundations is an excellent primer on what money is, and what we mean by 'the monetary system'. It makes something enormously complex much easier to grasp, and suggests several practical options for monetary reform."
Dr Eve Poole, Chairman of Faith in Business, Ridley Hall

Although there has been much discussion of the nature of capitalism and the shortcomings of the banking sector following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, there has been relatively little discussion of the monetary system that underpins our economy. However, the way we create and administer money has enormous consequences for the health and sustainability of the economy and deserves greater attention.

Crumbling Foundations is a research report that explores the nature and purpose of money, before comparing and contrasting our modern system with the biblical one. The way we create money now – involving a complex interplay between central and commercial banks, electronic and physical cash – is a far cry from the Bible’s use of silver and grain as currencies. Nevertheless, the Bible’s principles are eternal and have ongoing application in creating monetary systems that are both just and fit for purpose.

Money in the Bible was a relational tool: a kind of social glue designed to strengthen relationships and hold communities together. It is too important to be appropriated or monopolised by banks and governments, which essentially use it as a way of extracting value from citizens. There are advantages to centrally-created ‘fiat’ money, but also serious risks. Debt- and interest-based money and inflation entail conflicts of interest between issuers of money and those who use it, compromising the purpose of money from the biblical perspective.

Problems result from the centralisation of the money supply around the state and commercial banks. The Bible is sceptical about centralised power, and an overhaul and greater decentralisation of the money supply is required to address the injustices this causes.

The series of short talks from the event can be found in this playlist on YouTube.

This booklet is also available to purchase in hard copy here.