“The Bible presents no system of economics.”
It was a presumptive statement, buried in a long list of blog comments that I read the other day. One which would probably not raise anyone’s ire, or even evoke a comment. I wouldn’t have even noticed it, but for the fact that I was halfway through Ched Myers’ The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics. It it, he writes extensively about the Bible’s great concern for economics, though admittedly with a system that wouldn’t be recognized by most modern eyes: sharing. Myers makes a great case that, from beginning to end, the Bible is very concerned about the twin dangers of wealth: of having too little, and of having too much. He spends a lot of time with the countercultural teachings of the prophets (especially Jesus), who seem to suggest that amassing wealth is akin to putting yourself in great mortal danger. As an alternative, we are encouraged to wisely use only what we need, and to share our excess. Which is just crazy enough to work, I think. As one of my old Greek professors used to tell his struggling students, “It is simple, but it’s not easy.”
All of which has be even more excited about an event next month at Church of the Savior, where we’ll hear about the economics of Jubilee, and then take the afternoon to converse about several experiments toward voluntary economic redistribution and social justice. I’ll be engaging in a conversation about Relational Tithe and Common Table, but I’m hoping to steal away to hear about Anacostia Hours, a system of local currency being developed in several neighborhoods in and around DC.