On Earth as It Is in Heaven | Sojourners

On Earth as It Is in Heaven

Scripture's view of a God-centered economy is at odds with the competitive system of acquisition and consumption known as capitalism.
An illustration of a woman named Sofika Zielyk. She has short blonde hair with sideswept bangs is wearing a white dress that has intricate red patterning and loose sleeves. A yellow circle is behind her with red flowers around the circumference.
Ethnographer and artist Sofika Zielyk curates “The Pysanka: A Symbol of Hope,” an evolving exhibit with more than 500 Easter eggs from people around the world. / Illustration by Angelina Grabil

IN THIS ISSUE, ethicist Larry Rasmussen explains that human economic activity has transformed not only our relationship to the world, but the world itself — we are now in an era where “everything turns upon humanity,” as Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it in a different context. While this new “totalizing” reality of what people are doing to the planet has become virtually undeniable, the human tendency toward unceasing growth, as Jim Rice points out in his column, is still defended by economists, headline writers, and the rest of the “more is more” crowd.

Scripture gives a different view of the abundant life and God’s intentions for our economy. The biblical vision, as economist and pastor Edith Rasell explains, is one in which everyone thrives, not just those who prove the most cutthroat in the capitalist battle of competitive acquisition and consumption. The Bible paints a picture of an economy in which everyone’s material needs are met and everyone has access to a livelihood that enables thriving. That’s known as economic justice. It’s also, Rasell says, “God’s vision for society.”

The cover for Sojourners' April 2023 issue, featuring a story about international adoption. There's a photo collage with one showing a toddler on a beach, and two photos with mothers holding babies. There's a map illustration and another of a baby bottle.
This appears in the April 2023 issue of Sojourners