David Kettle

Back in the nineteen-sixties Bob Dylan sang 'Times they are a-changing'. Those of us who sang along little guessed the dimensions or scale of change which would engulf us before the end of this twentieth century of our Lord.

Ours is a time, firstly, of great social and economic change. Change possibly on the same scale as generated by medieval land enclosure and by the industrial revolution. Some of it is technologically driven; some of it is being engineered by leaders in government and business.

Ours is a time also of profound ideological change. Whether best understood as the collapse of modernity into postmodernity, or as modernity at its height, it has brought a bewildering range of new freedoms and constraints, 'achievers' and casualties.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn points to something else. 'Today's world', he observes, 'has reached a stage that, if it had been described to preceding centuries, would have called forth the cry "This is the apocalypse!"'1

By all counts, one certain thing today is our uncertainty about the future This is no time to sleep, relying on the automatic pilot of church tradition to keep us on course.

To reflect upon our calling to be God's church, engaged in worship and mission, is to ask what it means to find and live where God engages this rapidly changing world. What does it mean to live at this place of engagement faithfully and with understanding? Living and understanding, orthopraxy and orthodoxy, belong together here of course: it is not first as an object of belief that we encounter the church, its worship and mission, but rather as a work of God into which we find ourselves drawn as reflective participants.

I shall contrast an authentically God-centred with a wrongly human-centred view of the church, its worship and mission. I shall draw this contrast in three ways: firstly as I reflect upon the inner relation between church, worship and mission; secondly as I ask of these what it means to seek orthodoxy in a time of change; and thirdly as I consider some particular threats to orthodoxy today.


God has entrusted the church, its worship and mission into our hands. But we may turn this stewardship into mere self-determination. Then we take our stand not upon God but upon a church of our own creation or preservation. From here we claim on the one hand to know and worship God,and on the other hand to stand distinct from, and have a mission to, the unbelieving world. But these claims have come to be rooted secretly in human-centred religion and no longer in God. And with this they have changed their meaning. Originally, however, the church is constituted by God through participation in his own worship and mission.

To be sure, God has entrusted the church to us. But never as our private property. The authentic church remains always the work of God. It is the fundamental paradox of grace that our radically free, creative and responsible stewardship of the church always remains grounded in radical dependence upon God. Such grace is the mystery of God's Holy Spirit at work among us. Christ is the head, we the body; Christ the vine, we are the branches - cut off from him we can do nothing.

Let us consider in turn how worship, mission and the church are the work of God.


Worship is our wholehearted response when we know and embrace God for who he is. In this worship lies our eternal fulfilment; this is what we were made for.

Central to our human worship of God are gatherings for the purpose explicitly of praising and praying, listening and confessing to him. Form has been given to our worship services by Jesus in the sacraments of baptism and eucharist, while the Lord's prayer offers a model for our prayer. Prayerful recitation of scripture has always featured. The psalms have been an important vehicle of praise and prayer. Beyond this, all manner of human creativity has been offered in worship to God: song and dance, visual and dramatic arts, light and scent, symbol and gesture: whatever says 'We praise you God, we acknowledge you to be the Lord.'

But our worship services are less than worship if they do not at once express and inspire the offering to God of our whole lives. Christian worship of God is about nothing less than the king-dom, the rule of God, inaugurated in Christ. 'Offer your very selves to God: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for his acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart.' (Romans 12.1) Day by day we are called practically to offer up to God the very meaning of our lives and of the world as we know it, that the meaning of these may be renewed for us by him. When Jesus said 'Why do you call me good; one alone is good...' (Mark 10.18), and 'Call no man "father", for you have only one father...' (Matthew 23.9) he pointed to this kind of renewal of meaning. Pannenberg calls this speech 'doxological' (as opposed to analogical) speech about God.2 It articulates the offering of our intelligent, intentional life to God. 'Be transformed', wrote St Paul, 'by the renewal of your minds. Then you will be able to discern the will of God..' (Romans 12.2;) This work of renewal always remains God's. It brings about the paradox of a living sacrifice - one in which we choose and know and love God but which is more truly, as we affirm, about his choosing and knowing and loving us (John 15.16, Galatians 4.9, Ephesians 5.2). And it points forward to our destined participation in that eternal life of celebration which is the Trinity.

Worship of God is primary. It cannot be reduced to any general human categories such as thanks, or admiration, or valuing, or regard, or duty, or service. Rather, in worship each of these acquires new, doxological meaning. As this meaning is carried back into our daily lives it opens them anew to God. On the other hand, insofar as a society has lost the common grace of gratitude or obligation or service, then it is far from the worship of God, and may have to rediscover God before ever it can experience the renewal of these. Thus insofar as a society has forgotten the meaning of 'good' and sees morality only as about being forced to concede the rights of others, or about enlightened self-interest, then it may have to rediscover the roots of morality in worship - as generously, freely offered service to a good and generous God - before ever it can experience the renewal of goodness itself.3

We are called to worship God in Spirit and in truth. Here we find a creative tension. On the one hand the truth of God, as we mentally agree, demands our worship. God is worthy of worship whether or not we experience him so. Worship is therefore a duty to which we must rouse ourselves and rouse others. On the other hand the Spirit of God engages our hearts and feelings and we experience God in personal worship. Now in the kingdom, these two merge. But this side of kingdom they are in tension. Worship which dutifully affirms the truth of God can become dry and intellectual, and deny the power of that truth; worship which relies too much on our feelings can degenerate into a romantic yearning for absorption into a divine co-dependent. The call to worship in spirit and in truth is a call to live creatively between these two distortions.

In such ways we begin unfolding the meaning of Christian worship. What other religions mean by worship is not for us to assume. For Christians, at least, worship as understood above is constitutive of the church.


The worship to which God summons us, we offer 'with universal intent'. We intend here, not only that those who do know God shall agree in worshipping him but that all shall know and adore God because he is worthy of this.

Mission, like worship, is God's work before it is ever ours. In mission we worship God by sharing in his work from day to day. The link between worship and mission is even closer than this: there is a sense in which, in mission, we worship with God. In an old sense of the word 'worship' we can say that in Jesus Christ God chose freely to 'worship' those who were yet sinners - he loved, served and honoured them as of immeasurable worth. In so doing he showed who he was - and showed them what they were made for.

God's mission is always implicitly evangelistic. Whenever we share in it, when we glorify God by loving others, it is our implicit intention that they and others will experience this as a sign of God's kingdom breaking through, and glorify God (John 15.8). This does not reduce Christian service to a mere means to an end; rather it affirms and reveals God and his love as an end in itself. This revelation may be hindered, of course, if we are uncomfortable about speaking of God, or if mass media routinely filter out, as unacceptable to their own cultivated 'culture', references to faith.

Again, it may need to be said, God's mission is not merely to provide something for consumption. Those whom God serves, he calls to serve (John 13.13-15).

Mission is not an exercise in market creation. Heaven forbid that we should ever treat the Holy Spirit as an amateur tutor to us in the past while we awaited empowerment by marketing skills. Mission is about God coming to his own. Our task is to open peoples' eyes by word and action to his coming.

Every person who comes to faith is a gift from God. Paul customarily opened his letters to Christian congregations by thanking God for them. Jesus himself, in St John's Gospel, acknowledges his disciples as given to him by God ( John 17.6). He could also be taken aback by those to whom God had given faith ( Luke 7.9).

It is constitutive of the church, that it participate in God's own mission. When P.T. Forsyth wrote 'It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not' 4 he was not driven merely by concern about dwindling collection-plates.


As God calls us to worship and mission he draws us into a new community with others similarly called. Therefore the character of this community is given precisely by God's call to worship and mission. Conversely the meaning of worship and mission is embodied in this community which extends back to Jesus Christ and to the Christian churches of the New Testament, in their openness to the Spirit of God.

God's self-disclosure calls us to new identity in union with other Christians and in union with God. This relativises the claims of other communities upon us - even of our own family, as Jesus so radically declared (Luke 14.26, Mark 3.31-35). From early days Christians have taken on new, Christian names, and dared to call God 'father' and each other 'brothers' and 'sisters'. God's claim upon us is prior. We are citizens of heaven, 'in' but not 'of' the world and its communities.

God's new community is not our own but remains open to God and to those whom he gives. It is called to be an open fellowship in which God may build a unity spanning differences of race, gender, age, temperament etc. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, kahore he tangata whenua, kahore he tau iwi.

As in worship, so also in mission and in the church constituted by these: we are called to live creatively in the tension between the truth of God we affirm in our minds and our personal experience of him. We do not do it very well; we are poor vessels, unprofitable servants, often blind to what God is doing and wants to do among us. We ourselves remain in need of ever deeper evangelisation by the Spirit of God, ever renewed offering of ourselves to God.5


The church, its worship and mission as described above will be expressed according to their cultural setting. In times of cultural change, the church must be open to changing expression. Loren Mead has described well our present situation here6. I want now to ask: what does it mean to pursue orthodoxy in a time of cultural change?

Let me begin by noting habit of dividing life into two realms - traditionally called the sacred (or religious) and the secular. In the former realm lie matters where the question arises, is this orthodox or not? In the latter realm lie matters where this question does not arise. Argument between conservative and liberal Christians is largely an argument about where the line between these two should be drawn. At one extreme lies the person who gets as upset about a church pew being moved as about the divinity of Christ being denied; at the other extreme lies the person who is as ready to abandon the divinity of Christ as to move a church pew. In a time of change, conservatives will want to change less; liberals, to change more.

Is it right to divide life between religious and secular in this way? For some purposes, yes. But not fundamentally, as when we are pursuing orthodoxy in a time of cultural change. In this setting the religious/secular split, I suggest, models rather a church which has lost its transcendent reference in God - a church which is no longer rooted in God but is rather about human-centred religion7.

Sheila Prichard offers an alternative model.8 She recounts the story of a visitor to an Australian outback cattle ranch intrigued by the seemingly endless miles of farming country without trace of fences. The visitor asked a local rancher how he kept track of his cattle. He replied 'Oh that's no problem. Out here we dig wells instead of building fences.'

It is the wells model rather than the fences model for orthodoxy which describes a church open to God. In a time of cultural change especially we may add: a Jewish shepherd was always on the move. Water holes dried up, and he would lead his sheep on to water elsewhere; the sheep needed to know his voice and follow his lead.

The wells model revises the fences model for orthodoxy by pointing behind its presupposition of two distinct realms. It restores the original ground for orthodoxy in pointing to a God who on the one hand always remains transcendent prior to the domain of orthodoxy, and on the other hand reaches indefinitely beyond this domain. The former reminds us that even in our truest doctrines we never 'possess' God; rather, through them God engages us; the latter reminds us that God's rule extends through the whole of life.

The paradigm for such revision always lies in Jesus' engagement with the religious authorities of his own day. On the one hand he rejected the legalistic view which gave absolute and equal weight to the divinely given torah in all its parts. Rather he allowed that there were more and less weighty matters of law, and identified the heart of the law in the commandments to love God and neighbour (Mark 12.3-31). He then renewed the meaning of these commandments in his own death. On the other hand, he extended the rule of God indefinitely beyond the acknowledged realm of law, into the very workings of our hearts.

Jesus neither followed uncritically his religious tradition, nor partially reformed it, nor totally overthrew it. Rather he immersed himself radically in it and became, so to speak, this tradition in the act of renewing itself radically. This has become in turn the dynamic for our own pursuit of Christian orthodoxy in times of cultural change. Today we are called to share anew, in our own time and circumstance, in Christ's radical renewal and recapitulation of the tradition of faith. By 'we' I mean the whole people of God, as far as they will be brought on board. Ours is a time strongly to engage, teach and empower lay Christians for the task today and tomorrow.

Accordingly today, on the one hand, with respect to much of our Christian belief and practice we have to rediscover the vision and the context which first inspired these. As we stand imaginatively with those who shaped our traditions, we must look with them towards God and take responsibility, as they did in their own time, for our future before God.

Especially we have to help people enter more fully into the unfolding history of encounter with God which is testified in the bible. I think we need today to understand better the biblical world and our world as one - each of them similarly alive with issues of economic justice and political manoevring and conservative institutions and cultural tensions and religious syncretism as well as issues of personal goodness and wickedness; and to discover anew Jewish and Christian knowledge of God emerging in all its distinctiveness in the midst of this.

On the other hand, with respect to our modern world we have to seek greater cultural self-awareness - greater awareness, that is, of our culture as God sees and engages it.

This dual movement I describe is intelligent, but it is not a merely intellectual exercise. Loving effort is required to put ourselves in the place of other people, taking them seriously, especially people of other ages and cultures such as in the bible. One might have thought this kind of imaginative effort would be fostered by today's satellite TV broadcasts, international air travel and trade, and by the publically asserted vision of a pluralist society, but often in seems that the love behind such effort has grown cold.

Similarly it is no mere intellectual exercise for us to unearth our own cultural assumptions. We tend to resist the thought that we have acted or been acted upon unknowingly. New cultural self-awareness requires a kind of conversion.

So we need both vision and empowerment today to take hold afresh of God, of who we are as Christians, and of our history as Christians especially in its relation to western culture.

The vision for this must come from many sources but personally I see an important part played by the work of Lesslie Newbigin and the gospel and culture network. I see this flowing into networks of Christians who share a common profession or academic discipline, and being made accessible to housegroups and lay seminars through well-prepared material. The issues we face are largely common to the western world, so it ought to be possible internationally to develop materials of a high standard.

But we also need empowerment. A renewal of Christian world-view requires the same sustained immersion as does learning to live in a new culture, and the same encouragement from people around us. Sunday worship of high standard provides a good start, as can housegroup involvement. But more is needed, for those with the appetite for it - in particular, I think, time away in residential settings where time is consecrated to God9. Such immersion may be provided through occasional gatherings like those of the Cursillo movement; or they may be found in the hospitality of permanent residential communities, such as those at Iona and Taize. These can give people a new sense of finding their true home in Christian community from which they have been sent out into the world as resident aliens with a mission.

What I have said applies equally, in a different way, to those drawn newly to Christian faith. Efforts to restore the catechumenate are significant in this regard.

As Christians grow more aware of the distinctiveness of their faith, this will bring new agendas. The secular reaction will be to class Christian faith more firmly among private choices and to attack those Christians who, in orthodox manner, make claims beyond this. Christians will need new help to sustain these attacks. They will also need guidance so that they do not over-react by seeing the world polarised between Christians and evil unbelievers. For a start the church has broad margins. We do well to honour ministry among those who have, in the past, been inculturated into the church, but have drifted away. We do well to honour ministry among those who show some elementary openness to the faith. The opportunities for such ministry arise in Christian baptisms, weddings and funerals; in religious education in schools; in church-based welfare programmes; in varieties of chaplaincy. All deserve to be done well. Widespread public toleration of these reflects something less than rejection of the Christian claim, wherever we are allowed freedom to exercise such ministry with Christian integrity.


I have dwelt so far on the process of pursuing orthodoxy in a time of change. I want now to identify, as I see them, the main threats we face during this process.

The habit of dividing life into religious and secular may again mislead us here. It makes us see heterodoxy prematurely in the explicitly 'religious' realm and miss it in the 'secular' realm. Again here we must yield up our human-centred religion to God, renewing our transcendent reference in him behind these two realms. Let us look at this in more detail.

When we make ourselves humanly religious and orthodox, then when we meet other religious belief or practice than our own we attribute it to another and rival religious source whose authority conflicts with our own. Even when belief or practice converges with our own, we count it different because rooted in a different authority. We may even withdraw from using our own symbols (such as the rainbow) when we see them tainted by use under rival spiritual authorities.

But this response to other religious belief and practice presupposes that it claims an authority equal to, and implacably opposed to, God's. And that it can therefore only be fought until defeated. However in practice those who follow other religion may come, in dialogue, to recognise in Christ the deeper fulfilment of their own religion. This is not defeat for their religion, but its transformation and radical renewal in Christ. Nor will this be a compromise for true Christian orthodoxy. Both the history of Christian faith and of biblical Jewish faith testify to many such engagements10. Today's New Age smorgasbord of religion invites such discerning engagement.11

It is therefore surely a sign of spiritual vitality where evangelical Christians today boldly critique their own tradition12 and show a discerning openness towards other strands in Christian tradition which have in the past been routinely treated with suspicion.

If merely human religion makes us see heterodoxy prematurely in the 'religious' realm, it makes us miss it in the 'secular' realm. Yet it is arguably in this latter realm that heterodoxy arises most problematically today, in the form of false ideology.

False ideology arises when a descriptive model belonging to some sphere of 'secular' knowledge is exalted to religious status. Firstly it is invested with not only descriptive but prescriptive power. As a prescription it then claims to be absolute and overruling, harnessing entirely our moral passions. As a description it claims to be the normative, universally applicable and irreducible description of reality.

Such ideology may not describe itself in explicitly religious terms, but its religious status is revealed in its response to every other standpoint including Christian faith. Rather than allow itself to be complemented by or critiqued from another standpoint, it reduces every other standpoint to its own categories. Confronted with faith, it tries to upstage God. In effect its message is 'seek first the king-dom, the rule of ideological correctness, and the rest will come to you as well.' It now either demonises Christian faith, or assimilates faith to itself. In the latter lies its danger to the church. The canons of ideological correctness or orthodoxy subvert those of true orthodoxy.

Ideology arises out of the human sciences with one of two surface orientations. On the one hand it may take a feature of the world which stands over against human beings and over against the shape of present human interaction with the world, and invest in it absolute reality and worth. It thus makes new demands on the status quo in the name of a reality beyond people. In this form ideology pulls us politically to the right. On the other hand ideology may take human beings as such, and invest absolute reality and worth in them over against the shape of present human interaction with the world. It thus makes new demands upon the status quo that the world be shaped more to people. In this form ideology pulls us politically to the left. Let us look at each in turn, and see how they distort the church, its worship and mission.

Let me repeat that I am concerned here to describe false ideology. I do not mean to deny any true insights or right concerns from which such ideology is a false development. Just as in the case when new 'religious' belief and practice confront us, so here with 'secular' belief and practice, we must assume neither that we are confronted with an implacable ideological rival to faith, nor that we are offered an insight and a concern to be pursued vigorously in the name of Christ.

Right-wing ideology has in western societies and in recent times been most familiar in the form of an economic ideology. Here the importance of capital and its flow in the 'free market' is exalted beyond reason to provide at once the normative description and overriding purpose of human endeavour. Capital itself in the hands of its owner (who holds absolute property rights over it) becomes the absolute, irreducible reality and defining source of all good, which is realised as the power of choice in making purchases. Power of choice, rather than the good we should choose, is exalted exclusively here because to exalt the latter would be to introduce a rival to the absolute good of capital. A policy of monetarisation is now pursued which redefines, quantifies and practically reshapes ever new spheres of life in terms of economic contracts and which channels access to the good in these spheres through capital expenditure. The world built in this way is now held to be the real world; its 'constraints' are simply those of reality. The ensuing social distribution of well-being and impoverishment is now attributed either to personal choices made by those involved, or to sheer fortune; the question of structural justice is never allowed.13

Right-wing ideology may look to the church to validate its world-view and to promote the moral codes upon which any impersonal macro-economic system ultimately depends. In so doing it will seek to assimilate faith to itself, sponsoring what, insofar as this ideology has acquired a dominant position in society, becomes civil religion.

Turning now from right to left-wing ideology, this has been associated for the greater part of this century with a political and economic system which invests absolute, irreducible reality and worth in 'the people' . The exercise of power by a minority 'elite' is assumed to have no possible justification in reality, but to be an act of oppression; 'the peoples' story of their oppression becomes the normative account of reality. The demand of total allegiance to this irreducible reality which is 'the people' opens the way towards totalitarian communism.

More recently left-wing ideology has shown itself in the exaltation beyond reason of various minority groups and what is seen as their oppression by the majority. Here absolute, irreducible reality and value is invested in an oppressed group, and its story of oppression overridingly demands our attention as the normative account of reality.14

Insofar as such ideological thinking enters the church, it will reduce the church to a pressure-group on behalf of these oppressed minorities, worship to the rehearsal of a manifesto, and confession to condemnation of our our own acts of oppression. Elements in worship which cannot be assimilated ideologically, such as mystery and thanksgiving, will tend to be lost.

Ideology shifts a step further to the left when it teaches us that we each find our true cause in ourselves. Absolute, irreducible reality and worth now becomes invested in the individual. Until recently ideology has stretched the language of rights, divorced from responsibilities, to this end; today it stretches the new talk of each individual having their own boundaries and space within which they have personal 'safety'. This image of persons as extended objects distinct from other persons and moving in a common space is the latest development of individualism. Our overriding responsibility becomes now towards ourselves, to esteem and assert our 'selves', while not violating the space of others.

Insofar as such ideological thinking enters the church, worship will become an act in which we assert and esteem who we are, of whom 'God' is the projected image. We shall make many statements about ourselves as faith-persons, but listen very little. God, after all, we know affirms us in our act of self-creation. He may make available therapy to this end, but he will never invade our space. When the church invades our space, as it may well do, we shall be inclined to withdraw from church participation, each into our own private spirituality.

Reflecting on the threat of these false ideologies, I suggest we need firstly, and positively, to discern and embrace any true insights or right concerns with which they are connected, while setting these within the whole context of faith. Along with right-wing ideology we shall affirm that there is a reality over against us and to which we must attend more fully, rather than all 'realities' being relative. Along with left-wing ideology we shall affirm the incomparable worth of people, in the face social structures which systematically deny the worth of some.

But then we need secondly, and negatively, to relativise the absolute claims of ideology, both by setting other claims alongside it15, and by denying the designated irreducible reality and absolute worth at its heart. Here our faith points from each ideology, paradoxically, at once to left and right. Addressing right-wing ideology we shall first challenge the incomparable worth of capital and its choices, pointing further 'right' to a truer good which is rather unquantifiable and demands response in its own terms. Christians will be joined by neo-classicists in this cause. But equally we shall point to the 'left', extending this truer good to all alike who will be nurtured in it.

Addressing left-wing ideology we shall first challenge the irreducible reality and absolute value designated of ourselves as autonomous individuals, pointing further 'left' to a truer and deeper self within us than has yet been found and freed. But equally we shall point here to the 'right': for this deeper self, together with our deeper personal safety, our salvation - lies beyond us in God. Here and now we have no final safety but face the challenge and risk of growth - losing our selves that we might find ourselves.

Ideology has the power to seduce the church and to split it. But by the grace of God it need not be so. Let us learn more, what it means for the church to be 'in' but not 'of' the ideological world in its life, worship and mission. In this may God make our hearts firm, so that we may stand before our God and Father holy and faultless when our Lord Jesus comes.



1. Solzhenitsyn, A, 'Men have forgotten God', National Review, New York, July 22nd 1983, p873.

2. Pannenberg, W, Basic Questions in Theology, Vol. 1, (eng.) SCM 1970, pp211f.

3. See, for example, Gill, R, Moral Communities, Exeter University Press 1992.

4. Forsyth, P.T., Revelation Old and New, Independent Press 1962, p54.

5. For an excellent theological account of the ongoing process of evangelisation see Abraham, W., The Logic of Evangelism, Hodder & Stoughton 1989.

6. See especially Mead, L., The Once and Future Church, Alban Institute 1992.

7. On merely human religion see Kirk, J.A., Loosing the Chains: Religion as Opium and Liberation, Hodder & Stoughton 1992.

8. Pritchard, S., 'Wells or Fences: The Risk of Spiritual Growth', in Crawshaw, J. & Kirkland, W. (ed) New Zealand Made: Perspectives on Mission in Aotearoa, Signpost Communications 1994, 25-32, p25.

9. For pertinent Christian reflections on time, see Banks, R., The Tyrrany of Time, IVP 1983.

10. See for example Wessels, A., Europe: Was it ever really Christian?, SCM 1994.

11. See Osborn, L., Angels of Light, Daybreak 1992, for such a measured response to the New Age.

12. Evangelicals critiquing their own tradition in the U.S. include Noll, M., The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Eerdmans 1994; the contributors to Guinness, O. & Seel, J. (ed), No God but God; Crabb, L., Finding God, Scripture Press 1993. In New Zealand, notably we have the seminars run by Signpost Communications of Wellington.

13. For two brief Christian critiques of right-wing economism see Gay, C.M., 'An Ironic Cage: the Rationalisation of Modern Economic Life', in Sampson, Samuel & Sugden (ed), Faith & Modernity, 252-272; Collier, J., 'Contemporary Culture and the Role of Economics', in Montefiore, H. (ed), The Gospel and Contemporary Culture, Mowbray 1992, 103-128.

14. For a critique of left-wing fundamentalism see Bromwich, D., Politics by other Means: Higher Education and Group Thinking, Yale University Press 1992, Chapter One.

15. The theology of Herman Dooyeweerd is a useful resource here. He envisages a plurality of spheres of life under God, no one of which may be allowed to dominate others. Economic ideology is a violation of this.