This article examines the moral status of wealth creation, particularly within its theological and religious contexts, across Reformed confessions from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These confessional standards are a key source for the moral teaching of Reformed churches, and their treatments of the eighth commandment demonstrate a relatively nuanced and sophisticated view of wealth. Rather than simply denouncing wealth itself as intrinsically evil, these confessional standards, from a variety of national and ecclesial contexts, both on the European continent and Britain, provide a basis for viewing wealth creation as a moral good, even while warning against excess, temptation, and vices such as avarice and envy. This survey of the treatments of wealth from a diverse set of Reformed confessional standards provides a foundation for understanding a critical element in the formation of Reformed, and more broadly Protestant, economic ethics in the early-modern period.
- reformed confessions