Ched Myers

ched myers
Ched Myers

Ched Myers is an activist theologian who has worked in social change movements for forty years. With a Masters degree in New Testament Studies, he is a popular educator who animates scripture and issues of faith-based peace and justice. He has published more than 100 articles and more than half-dozen books, most of which can be found at www.ChedMyers.org. He and his partner Elaine Enns, co-direct Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries (www.bcm-net.org) in the Ventura watershed of southern California.

Posts By This Author

To Serve and Preserve

by Ched Myers 03-01-2004

The Bible calls us to dominion over creation. Or does it?

A Few of My Favorite Things

by Ched Myers 09-01-2001
An author, biblical scholar, and itinerant teacher tells what sounds, sights, and words he's enjoying these days.

Stories to Live By

by Ched Myers 03-01-2000
Reading the Bible in the new millennium.

A Living Example

Brazilian Catholic archbishop Helder Camara brought a "preferential option for the poor" to the center of Christian social thinking.

'Behold, The Treasure of the Church'

by Ched Myers 09-01-1999
The poor are always with us. The questions is what we do about it.

Jesus' New Economy of Grace

by Ched Myers 07-01-1998
The biblical vision of Sabbath economics.
Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock

Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock

The Hebrew Bible's vision of Sabbath economics contends that a theology of abundant grace and a communal ethic of redistribution is the only way out of our slavery to the debt system, with its theology of meritocracy and private ethic of wealth concentration. The contemporary church, however, has difficulty hearing this as good news since our theological imaginations have long been captive to the market-driven orthodoxies of modern capitalism.

Our fears have persuaded us that the biblical Jubilee is at best utopian and at worst communistic. Yet we find it awkward simply to dismiss the biblical witness, so an alternative objection inevitably arises, as if on cue: "Israel never really practiced the Jubilee!" If genuine, and not simply a strategy of avoidance, this challenge is best addressed by considering both the "negative" and "positive" evidence.

By "negative" evidence I mean the fact that Israel's prophets repeatedly and relentlessly criticized the nation's leadership for betraying the poor and vulnerable members of the community. This strongly suggests that the Sabbath vision of social and economic justice remained a measuring stick to which they could publicly appeal.

There can be no question that the Sabbath disciplines of seventh-year debt release and Jubilee restructuring were regularly abandoned by those Israelites who wished to consolidate social advantages they had gained. The historical narratives in the Hebrew Bible indicate that as the tribal confederacy was eclipsed by centralized political power under the Davidic dynasty, economic stratification followed inexorably. Indeed, the prophet Samuel warned that a monarchy would be linked intrinsically to an economy geared to the elite through ruthless policies of surplus-extraction and militarism (1 Samuel 8:11-18). 

God Speed the Year of Jubilee!

by Ched Myers 05-01-1998
The biblical vision of Sabbath economics.

The Flutter of History

by David Bremer, by Ched Myers 07-01-1994
Wim Wender's film view of angels in our midst

Who Will Roll Away the Stone?

by Ched Myers 04-01-1994
A meditation on Mark's Easter story.

Looking for Justice, Holding the Peace

by Ched Myers 11-01-1992

In the aftermath of the LA rebellion, hope for change comes not from outside but from those with the least to lose.

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