Presentation on theme: "SOCIO-ECONOMIC JUSTICE The RICH AND THE POOR. Theology & Economics: Introduction What causes poverty? Countless volumes have been written over the ages."— Presentation transcript:
Theology & Economics: Introduction What causes poverty? Countless volumes have been written over the ages trying to answer this question. The fact is, it is one of the simplest questions. It can be answered in two words: Being Born. We have nothing when we come into the World. All that we have comes through investments others make in us and through investment we make in ourselves. Poverty is our natural human state. The real economic question is “What causes Prosperity”?
No topic is more frequently discussed in the Bible than material possessions, and yet the Bible gives us no economic system for implementation. It speaks a great deal about prosperity being of God but how do we achieve it? This is something the Church has been left to discern as it lives in community with God through the ages. Economics is central to our life together. Unfortunately, it is not what the Church understands.
Theology & Economics: Creation Any meaningful discussion of economics from a Christian perspective must be grounded in the narrative found in the first two chapters of Genesis. 1.God created all that is and all that is belongs to God. 2.God created an orderly world. 3.God created humanity in God`s image. (eikon) 4.God ordained both individuality and community. 5.God placed humanity over creation to be Stewards to be eikons of God`s authority. 6.God established the ideas of linear time and progress. Genesis 1: 28-30 -- Animal Kingdom, Plant Kingdom, Mineral and Energy Complex. “Be fruitful and Multiply”
Theology & Economics: Shalom How can we best describe the state of affairs at the close of the creation stories – SHALOM. (its meaning is more than PEACE) 1.Absence of war – Joshua 9:15 2.Harmonious relationships – 1 Samuel 16: 4-5 3.Personal Welfare of people and animals – 37:14 4.Prosperity – Jeremiah 33:9 5.Justice – Zechariah 8:16-17 6.Peace of mind – 119:165 All seem to point toward a combination of wholeness, wellness and harmony While shalom is not primarily an economic concept, economic issues are integral to the concept. There can be no shalom without economics that honour's God.
Theology & Economics: Rebel Eikons Clearly Shalom does not prevail in the world today. The Biblical narrative explains how shalom was lost beginning in Genesis 3. Adam – Eve and the Serpent. They were guilty and ashamed after disobeying God. Guilt comes from violating a moral precept. Shame comes when our actions reveal we do not match up to the model we have of ourselves. Adam and Eve were not only guilty; they were cut off from God, the foundation of their identity. Broken eikons unable to reflect God`s image. (This may be interpreted as the world we live in today)
Theology & Economics: Vain illusions Genesis 4 tells of humanity`s descent into delusional behaviour. It begins with the story of Adam and Eve`s sons Cain and Abel. Cain ended up murdering his brother Abel. Brotherhood was a special relationship in the Near East and Greco- Roman worlds. (Marriage-not- equals) (Parent to child hierarchical) Sibling to Sibling was the most emotionally intimate relationship. 16. Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, EAST of Eden. 17. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and built a city, named it Enoch after his son.
There is a wealth of information in these two verses. Cain departs from the Lord and settles in Nod. Nod means “wandering”. Literally, Cain is going to settle in the land of being unsettled. The East, was where the sun came up indicating – “the beginning” The West, where the sun set, signified “Completeness” The place which later became Israel, there was a city called Shalem named for the planet Venus or “evening star” – in the West. Shalem signified completeness or fullness as in completion of the day. Eastward travel was seen as a symbol for going backward. Cain was literally and figuratively walking away from Shalom!
Destruction is precisely what occurred to Cain and humanity. So virulent was the virus of Cain`s murderous delusion that it threatened to destroy all humanity. Then God brought forth a flood to destroy virus infected humanity and begin anew with Noah and his family. God repeated the command to Noah that he had given to Adam and Eve: Be fruitful and multiply” Genesis 9:1 Gen. 11 “ Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As man moved eastward they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. THE TOWER OF BABEL – CAIN ALIVE - GOD BROUGHT CONFUSION!!!!!!
Theology & Economics: Renewing Shalom Shalem had a god known as Baal. This is the city of Melchizedek the Priest-King who came out to bless Abraham. (Gen. 14:18) Ancient texts referred to the Shalem as URUSHALIM meaning “foundation of Shalem” David invaded the city of URUSHALIM – he took the first syllable for God`s name “Yah” from Yahweh, and added to the front of the city name to become Yahurushalim. Later, Israel took the first syllable of “Je” from Jehovah and the city became Jerusalem.
The theological imagery is powerful. “Shalem” originally meant completion and fulfilment through human idolatry. God enters the picture and infuses a new vision of what completion and fulfilment really is. God adds God`s name to that which was humanity`s highest expression of defiance toward God; and transforms it into God`s foundation of completeness and fulfilment. Urushalim – Yahurushalim – Jerusalem = (New Jerusalem) FROM THE GARDEN TO THE CITY
Vision, Mission, Ethics and Call Visio Dei (Vision of God) – The triune God existing in perfect shalom with all creation, dwelling in perfect community with His animate eikons as they fill the earth and fulfil their call to be stewards of Creation Missio Dei (Mission of God) – Reclaim and renew all creation by calling into community broken eikons, filling them with His presence and transforming them into imperfect but compelling exhibits of the visio dei, until shalom is fulfilled.
Call to Creation Stewards – Father God blessed them, and God said, “Be fruitful and multiply” and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. (Gen. 1:28) Call to Kingdom Service - Son And Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. Remember I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20) Call to exercise Gifts – Holy Spirit To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith, by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Cor. 12:7-11)
Theology & Economics: Why Economics? In its broad sense, economics mean – “The science that deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind” Ministry and mission are not defined by what we do but rather by who we are doing for. 1.Distributive Justice – How capital and goods are distributed throughout society 2.Commutative Justice – The truthfulness of parties to an economic exchange 3.Remedial Justice – A just compensation and punitive action when there has been malicious or careless damage done to life, liberty or property.