Shawn Ritenour’s Foundations of Economics is everything a textbook on economics should be: clear, well organized, easy to understand — and interesting! Ritenour presents the material with the effortless ease of the expert, in a way suited to the beginning or intermediate student. That he roots economic principles in biblical wisdom makes this a truly momentous contribution and a blessing to anyone fortunate enough to study from it.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D.
Senior fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute and author of New York Times bestseller Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, The Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse.
To speak of an economics textbook as enjoyable, thought-provoking, and at points even entertaining, might seem implausible. But Dr. Shawn Ritenour has accomplished the improbable with Foundations of Economics, an outstanding work that makes the sometimes obtuse jargon of economics easily understood. Practical in application and sound in economic theory, Dr. Ritenour’s excellent text is unapologetically free market oriented and incorporates a biblical worldview, providing a perspective on economics nearly universally missed by other texts. I pray the book finds a wide audience.
Dr. David Wesley Whitlock, President
Oklahoma Baptist University
It must be wonderful to be a student in Shawn Ritenour’s class, for he brings economics to life. And now we have distilled Ritenour, in this important book. For the future of America, may it be adopted far and wide.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
The Ludwig von Mises Institute
Dr. Ritenour has written an exceptional economics text. The book simultaneously avoids technical jargon, injects humor into the alleged “dismal science,” and seamlessly integrates the Christian faith into the discipline. Dr. Ritenour’s text is a great illustration of how practical and applicable the study of economics can be.
Dr. Ronda O. Credille
Professor of Business Administration
Southwest Baptist University
Professor Ritenour has produced an elegantly written and masterfully organized work. Solidly grounded in Christian ethics and the best of the deductive Austrian tradition in economics, Ritenour’s Foundations text fills a void among recent offerings of principles texts. Ritenour’s book begins with the fundamental assumptions and logical methods of economics as a study of human action, then carefully explains how the economy works in the real world. Each chapter develops the reader’s understanding of economic thought processes in plain language, without arcane mathematical complexities. The last several chapters deal with various ways in which government intervenes in the economy, and Ritenour’s incisive reasoning demolishes common arguments for the expansion of the state. Any student who fully absorbs this book will be head and shoulders above the vast majority of principles students today, and it is encouraging to me to think of the powerful impact this text will have.
Professor Ritenour’s Christianity, as evidenced in this book, has implications far beyond the walls of the church. Christians who have become accustomed to divorcing their faith from their activities on the other six days of the week, who are ‘agnostic’ when it comes to economics, will find in this book an opportunity to bring their faith to all of life. Christians who already believe that their faith connects with economics will be challenged as well. Those who believe that Christian social ethics require an expanded role for the civil government will have to wrestle with a well-thought-out case to the contrary, while those whose instincts are toward limited-government can no longer be content with reflexive conclusions. And yet, readers who do not share Professor Ritenour’s Christian starting point can still benefit immensely from this work. One’s presuppositions may be different, but it would be difficult to argue with Ritenour’s impeccable logic. Every student can gain from the clear and precise explanations of economic tools of analysis. In the moral underpinnings, intellectual force, and accessibility of Ritenour’s text, he has created what was sorely lacking in collegiate economics today. It is an astonishing achievement.
Associate Professor of Economics
Think economics is a dry, technical subject? Read Foundations of Economics and discover a lively, humanistic field that deals with everything from the mundane to the sublime. Shawn Ritenour has produced a terrific introduction to economics for the Christian and non-Christian student alike, a smooth blend of economic theory, Christian theology, and Biblical practice. I expect it to be widely adopted by Christian colleges and universities in the US and elsewhere, by homeschooling parents, and by interested members of the lay public. It’s clear and well-written, clever and funny, and infused with Biblical wisdom. A welcome addition to the literature.
Peter G. Klein
Division of Applied Social Sciences, and Associate Director, Contracting and Organizations Research Institute
University of Missouri