The economy does not work equally or equitably for everyone. Decades of reporting on poverty, wage inequality, wealth inequality, disparities based on race and gender, and a shrinking middle class offer ample evidence of economic distress for millions of Americans. What is important to remember is that these are not simply data points or economic trend-lines; they represent people.
I have been an Episcopal priest for nearly fifteen years and an economist more than twenty years. As a student and practitioner of both theology and economics it is shocking how both the Christian faith and the economics profession are implicated in largely misreading, or misrepresenting, our respective ‘sacred’ texts.
Noted biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann observes that “[W]hile we might conventionally assume, as we do in practice, that economics is an add-on or a side issue in the biblical text, an inventory of texts such as I offer here makes it unmistakably clear that economics is a core preoccupation of the biblical tradition.¹ Brueggemann further observes that “[G]iven such an economic map that receives many variant articulations in the Bible, it is simply astonishing that the church has willingly engaged in a misreading of the biblical text in order to avoid the centrality of money and possessions in its testimony.”²
In continuing my advocacy for the type of restorative economics found in biblical texts I am launching the GOD’S ECONOMICS project. Through this page I will publish content (blog posts, articles, etc.) to assist in our exploring how the church can reclaim the gospel of economic justice, and how this can help us rearticulate Christian faith by recapturing the economic dimension of the Bible. This will equip us to be effective advocates for a restorative economics which places neighborly common good above extractive and predatory economics.
This project will also serve in my own research, writing, and publication of my forthcoming book with the same title: GOD’S ECONOMICS. Following are blog posts related to this project and my related Moral Economy series.
God’s Economics Blog Posts & Articles
I have been an Episcopal priest for nearly fifteen years and an economist more than twenty years. As a student and practitioner of both theology and economics it is shocking how both the Christian faith and the economics profession are implicated in largely misreading, or misrepresenting, our respective 'sacred' texts ...Read More
Moral Economy Series
Ethical Economics is not a purely Christian endeavor. In fact, one need not be Christian to be a proponent of ethical economics. One, does, however, need to recognize there is a moral or ethical component to economic study and decision-making. Economics was originally considered a part of moral philosophy and ...Read More
Early Christian Communities & the Poor Early Christian communities took quite seriously their responsibility in caring for one another and others in need. This does not mean that they always got it right – as many of the Epistles address, but they often were intentional communities of faith that are ...Read More
Jesus: Good News to the Poor In the gospels we find that God’s concern for the conditions of the poor, vulnerable, and oppressed has not changed. Neither has God’s demand for justice. Jesus’ teachings and manner of life indicate that resources must be shared more equitably by creating access to ...Read More
In the United States we have a clear separation of church and state. Since the 18th century, Western society has cultivated distinctions between family (kinship), economics, politics, and religion. Such distinctions were unknown to society depicted in the New Testament. Jesus, and his disciples who formed the Church, could not ...Read More
The prophet Isaiah reveals God’s preferential option for the poor and demands distributive justice to release them from their impoverishment (e.g. Isa 61:1-2); and that God will judge the poor with righteousness (e.g. Isa. 11:4). Jeremiah proclaims that God will defend the rights of the needy (Jer. 5:26-29), and Isaiah ...Read More
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), there is witness and testimony that poverty and oppression factor significantly in the sin and brokenness of the world. Because of this, God demands justice for the poor and oppressed as part of the reconciliation that must occur. God’s sense of justice for the ...Read More
The Bible contains over 2,000 verses about poverty and presents a number of descriptions for what it was like to be poor in biblical times. There are the orphans and widows (Exodus 22:22; Isaiah 1:17; Deuteronomy 14:29; James 1:27), the sick (Matthew 25:36; Acts 19:12), the lame and the blind ...Read More
The economy does not work equally or equitably for everyone. Decades of reporting on poverty, wage inequality, wealth inequality, disparities based on race and gender, and a shrinking middle class offer ample evidence of economic distress for millions of Americans. What is important to remember is that these are not ...Read More
Learn more about some other organizations working for economic justice:
Walter Brueggemann, Money and Possessions (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2016), p. xix.
Ibid, p. xx.