Is there such a thing as Christian economics? 1

Where to start?

Why don’t we start with people?

Are they a good idea or a bad idea? Are they valuable or a drain?

I was looking at the content for the “new” version of Ron Sider’s Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, and I noticed that, despite a great deal of backtracking about claims as to what will happen, he still refuses to let go of the myth of the population explosion. We are supposed to help other people, and that means making sure that no more come into existence to eat “our” pie. I assume Evangelicals for Social Action (or whatever organization fulfills its functions now) is pretty much against immigration laws (and they should be!). But the most draconian immigration control is the one guarding married couples from having (“too many”) children.

From Psalm 127:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

As with Genesis 1:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

I don’t think the fact that modern technology allows for couples to decide when and how many children is necessarily a bad thing (assuming no abortion is involved or even risked!). But whatever decisions husbands and wives make as those recently granted new powers of stewardship, if your economic theory says that people are a drain on resources and that population growth is a problem, then the problem is you.

In my opinion this is a modest proposal: If you think the growth of the human race is a curse, you are pretty much telling us the Bible is a misleading document.

And, if you write a book that demands that the planet’s population be curtailed, then the economic theory behind your proposal is properly labeled unbiblical and non-Christian.

Yes, you may be a Christian espousing this error, just like John Lennon was not a Christian but showed more Christian generosity to generations to come. But it is still an error and a serious one.

And it demonstrates the impossibility of “neutral” economics. Viewing resources as “just there” is the hallmark of static, oppressive, pagan societies. Christianity says the future is open and people (not things) are the source of good. These are competing value claims that result in differing economic theories.


3 thoughts on “Is there such a thing as Christian economics? 1

  1. Paul Baxter

    I liked the John Lennon clip. I especially like how they used “myth” in the broad sense of a widely accepted explanatory story.

  2. Pingback: Mark Horne » Blog Archive » Is there such a thing as Christian economics? 2

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