John Stossel has been a consistent spokesman for free market economics. Thomas Sowell recommends Stossel’s latest book No, They Can’t! as a great Christmas gift. I agree. “It is written with a light touch, but gets across some pretty heavy stuff about economics. The title is a take-off on Obama’s old slogan, ‘Yes, we can!’” Sowell adds the following:
“It is the first book I have read that asks a question about electric cars that should have been asked long ago: How much pollution do they cause?
“Electric car enthusiasts may say, ‘None.’ But the electricity that runs these cars has to be generated somewhere, and much of that electricity is generated by burning coal. The fact that no pollution comes out of the car itself is irrelevant, when the pollution comes out of a smokestack somewhere else.”
There’s a great amount of evidence in all of Stossel’s books and TV specials about the failures of a government controlled economy and the success of the free market. His books are filled with reasoned arguments for his position. Even so, millions of people don’t believe in his belief that the free market is the best economic system.
Does he need more evidence and better reasons?
In an interview with Gretchen Carlson on Fox News, Stossel discussed his agnosticism. He maintain that he’s tried to believe in God, but can’t. His reason? “Because I want evidence. I want reason and explanation.” In 2010, Stossel said, “God may exist, but I want more evidence and I’ve looked for it.”
If reason and evidence are the determining factors in a debate over economics, then why do so many people oppose it? More than 50 percent of American voters rejected Stossel’s economic evidences and reasoning and put their faith in an economic system that has failed time and time again.
I’m sure that some of them argued, “The free market may be the best system, but I want more evidence. I’ve looked for it, but I have not been able to find it.”
The facts are there. That’s what Stossel would say about economics. I would say the same thing about the existence of God. Stossel has set himself up as the judge and jury of the facts. The free market skeptics do the same thing.
Our task is not to present the Christian faith as a debatable hypothesis, a study in probability, or just one religious option among many. We should never say, “You be the judge.” In a biblical defense of the Christian faith, God is not the one on trial; man is, as C. S. Lewis points out in his article “God in the Dock.” The “Dock” is the British version of our witness stand:
“The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock [the enclosure where a prisoner is placed in an English criminal trial]. He is quite a kindly judge: if God should have a reasonable defence for being the god who permits war, poverty and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God’s acquittal. But the important thing is that Man is on the Bench and God in the Dock.”1
How can a finite, fallible, and fallen being ever be a qualified judge of eternal things? How is it possible that the creature can legitimately question the Creator? God asks Job: “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it” (Job 40:1). Job responded, knowing the limitations of his own nature, the only way he could: “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth” (40:4).
God asks Job a series of questions that demonstrate how limited he is in knowledge and experience: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth! Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who set its measurements, since you know?” (38:4). Job was trying to figure out the world and the way it works based on his own limited frame of reference. This is an impossible and immoral task.
Stossel lives, moves, thinks, and breathes in a world that requires God’s existence. That’s the evidence. Take God out of the picture, and nothing has meaning. “The proof that God exists,” Sye TenBruggencate points out, “is that without Him you couldn’t know anything,” including what is economically right or wrong.
- C.S. Lewis, “God in the Dock,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 244. [↩]