Trying to find joy and God in the dismal reality of economics might seem a thankless task, but Chad Hovind, pastor of Horizon Community Church in Anderson Township, was up for it.

“I love being asked the hardest questions,” says Hovind, author of Godonomics: How to Save Our Country—and Protect Your Wallet—Through Biblical Principles of Finance.

Published last July in hardback by Random House’s Christian publishing unit, Multnomah, a paperback version is due this summer.

The 240-page book, structured in chapters about what God would say to some leading figures in economics and history, has drawn rave reviews from former congressman Bob McEwen and Christian evangelist Josh McDowell. Hovind also has appeared on the conservative talk shows of Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck.

Hovind, 40, argues God isn’t a Republican or a Democrat—he is a capitalist.

“Capitalism isn’t just a good idea; it’s God’s idea because it’s built on these timeless principles like work, profit, generosity, liberty and rule of law,” he says. “These principles were laid out by Moses when he took people out of bondage in Egypt. He said one of the first things you have to understand, if you’re going to be a free people, is you have to own property.”

One of the Ten Commandments is “don’t covet your neighbor’s property,” he points out.

“When you have property, you have responsibility over it and that leads to a responsibility to be generous to other people. It’s very hard to be generous when you’re broke,” he says.

A self-described “edutainer” who mixes entertainment with education, Hovind says the idea for the book grew out of the 2008 recession when some in his congregation were questioning parts of their faith.

Horizon, an interdenominational church created 13 years ago with the support of the Lindner family, draws about 1,500 each Sunday, many from the affluent communities of Indian Hill, Terrace Park and Mariemont.

“People were asking questions so I thought I’d do a whole series [of sermons] and talk about how God not only speaks about personal finances but also how nations should operate, for example. That was the motivation,” he says. Those sermons grew into the book.

A native of central Illinois, who has a degree in television communications and in pastoral ministry from Moody Bible Institute and Graduate School, Hovind has been a pastor at Horizon for 10 years.

His father was a public school teacher and his mother worked for a senior citizens community. He says the “dynamic, real relationship my parents had with Christ” drew him to the ministry.

“It wasn’t religiosity or rituals,” he says. “It was a vital part of our [lives] to see Christ as [our] forgiver and leader and finding joy in [our lives]. That changed me. I thought I’d love to present that in a compelling way.”

Hovind’s also put together an eight-lesson DVD called Fast Track: Genesis to Revelation from Lifeway Christian Resources that covers the entire Bible.

Godonomics is Hovind’s first book, but not his last. He says his next project will be on the Book of Job.