Unpacking the Divine Economy Model: Reflections and Key Takeaways from Bruce Koeber

A book review session by the YAFO Institute hosted Bruce Koerber, the author of Divine Economy Model on the 1st of April 2023. The event was dubbed ‘An Encounter with Divine Economy Model’ under the theme: Understanding economics in the environment in which we live and work and the role of institutions in creating prosperity. 

The discussion focused on the first two chapters out of the four, thus Imagine the Economy as a Whole and Watching your Dreams Come to Pass. Below are the insights from the discussion with the distinguished moderator, Akwasi Gyamfi.

Why the choice of the title; “Divine Economy Model”?

According to Bruce, he realized that there was a disconnect between what is considered scientific and what is considered non-scientific when he was studying economics and that was what inspired him to come out with the book, “Divine Economy Model”. Religion and Science are in harmony and, therefore, Divine Economy is a fusion of the religious aspect of economics and the scientific aspect of economics.

Imagining the economy as a whole

As the human body is made up of systems, organs, tissues, and cells, likewise the divine economy model has universal laws, foundational elements, concepts, and principles. For easy understanding of the divine economy model, Bruce broke down diagram 2b: skeletal structure of the divine economy; on page four of the book. The structure is represented in the form of the Cartesian coordinate system with four coordinates: divine economy at the center, transformation to the North Pole, human spirit to the South Pole, order to the east pole and law to the west pole with arrows on both ends of the lines representing reciprocity and symmetry. He added that the element of reciprocity adds the dimension of mutual exchange and this is likened to the batter trade system where you use what you have to get what you want in a mutual way. He explained the element of symmetry in the form of proportionality and relativity where the increase in one element causes an increase in other vital elements of the economy and also increases the economy as a whole.

Bruce further explained that the “Divine Economy” at the center is what is moving us as an invisible hand and, therefore, a person who doesn’t believe in God still recognizes the power of economic equilibrium.  He added that the human spirit is subject to illumination and when that happens, transformation takes place because we as humans encounter the human spirit of others directly and indirectly as people learn from others and the environment. 

Bruce continued that, for the model to become operational, intermediary elements are added to the skeleton: to the human spirit appendage action is added, to the transformation appendage capital structure is added, to the law appendage property right is added and to the order appendage market is added. These additions to the skeletal structure of the divine economy constituted diagram 2c: Modus operandi of the divine economy on page 6 of the book. These intermediary elements are potent forces that universally permeate our lives on this planet. Property rights interact closely with human action, the market, and capital structure. Property rights are truly foundational and have a strong connection to the law in the divine economy since they anchor the economy in us; in simple terms, property rights are human rights. The human spirit is expressed through human action which implies that the human spirit is the locus of communication and serves as a channel for the two-way flow of knowledge. He added that, without human beings, whose nature is to act purposefully, there would be no economy.

Akwasi Gyamfi, the moderator asked Bruce to elaborate on the four actions on page 11 of the book which says;

  • Be a friend of the entrepreneurs and become entrepreneur,
  • Appreciate and use capital. Put it into action by way of savings and investment,
  • Do what you can to safeguard property rights, and
  • Celebrate the transformative power of the economy.

Bruce gave a summary on these points and in his summary on the first point, he stated that people are always looking for ways to improve their lives and do things that are good for them and that’s what the entrepreneur’s spirit is. In order to become an entrepreneur, you need to be a friend of the entrepreneurs to learn and develop those skills.

To the second point, he stated that; everyone will agree that transformation is a good thing, and for that to happen in the economy, it requires capital, because that is what moves the economy forward. Another way of expressing capital is goods for the future, therefore, there is the need to put into action by way of savings and investments for the future we desire. We cannot change the past and the present is what it is but we can make the future we want by the use of capital.

Property rights are human rights and vice versa because you cannot have capital if you don’t have property rights. Therefore, there is a need for each of us to safeguard property rights because no one will like to invest where there are no property rights.

Finally, we then celebrate the transformative power of the economy when all these are done perfectly and then we appreciate the economy. 

Watching Your Dreams Come True

There was a glance-through of this chapter by Bruce. In summary, this chapter helps us to understand that the economy is filled with interventions and, therefore, in regards to the economic equilibrium, there are only human interventions interfering with the divine institution of the economy. However, the economy will arise and take over with time when these human interventions stop.

In the Divine microeconomic model, one thing that is perplexing economists is where value comes from. As a producer or entrepreneur, tailor your production to what the people value if you are thinking of ways of improving their lives. 

In the economy, flexibility contributes greatly to the economy and when this happens, the richness of the economy is more expressed. In this case, we are able to implement economic policies and these little business or economic policies that we as humans are implementing are very divine and are connected to the God factor.

As we now know where value comes from, and how to create value, then we must take these action steps;

  • We must be producers so that we have a source of income,
  • Be alert to what, when, where, and how people find value,
  • Most likely we will have many roles to play; as an entrepreneur, skilled laborers, capitalists, and owners of resources, we must learn to master them, and
  • We must cooperate with others to accomplish goals.

As interesting as the Divine Economy Model event was, we hope that you join our next session to complete the remaining two chapters. You are encouraged to get a free eBook of the Divine Economy Model, click here. The event had twenty-five (25) participants who had the opportunity to engage Bruce Koeber during the question and answers session and at the end, each participant was given free internet data. 

Article by

Joshua Larweh Tetteh

Joshua is the Programs Manager at YAFO Institute. He works along with the other executives to plan, organize, and carry out activities in accordance with the organization’s goal and vision.

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