“If I want to understand Western economics I have to study the Bible”

by Manuel, BSN Madison Director
Tokyo, Japan 

We were full of expectation as we entered through the old gate of the University of Tokyo. What an honor it was to teach a Bible study in partnership with Chi Alpha at the most influential university on the Pacific Rim. Students enrolled at the University of Tokyo have prepared all their lives to be at this school. Even as young kids they had to be in the right school to have a shot at studying at the University of Tokyo. This is the school that produces the leaders of Asian society.

God had led our team to prepare a teaching series on “Identity in Christ.” Today, Mark L. was going to teach on the value and purpose of people. People were visibly challenged by the message and almost everyone stayed after the Bible study to have lunch with us.

During lunch, I spoke with Makiko who is getting her PhD in Economics to be an economics professor. She is writing her dissertation on the economic relationship between China and Japan. To me that is one of the most interesting topics anyone could research as this is not just about economics and business but also how to deal with a strained relationship, deep seated hatred, and mistrust in a business climate.

As we talked about what she was finding I asked her how long she had been a Christian. I was surprised when she responded: “Oh, I am not a Christian yet but I have been studying the Bible for over a year. My professor told me that if I want to understand Western economics I have to study the Bible.”

I asked her if she had come across anything about economics in the Bible yet and she said that she had not. We talked a bit more about morality in the West and its biblical roots. But what really caught her interest was when I told her about the economic principles that God gave his people in Deuteronomy such as the limiting of debt, interest rates, how to love the poor of the nation, and how to empower them to get out of poverty. We exchanged info and I told her that I would send her more material on economics in the Bible.

What a privilege it was to talk to Makiko about the things that the God of Creation had to say about her field of study. May she come to know this wonderful God and may her work help break down the walls of animosity between China and Japan.