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.”
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