Dominion and Acts 2

Chilton again on Acts 2:

“Complete economic equality is never stated as a Christian ideal. It may be a temporary necessity in an emergency; but it is not a “model” for the usual Christian lifestyle. God has called us to dominion, the developing of the earth by men with different gifts and abilities, increasing the earth’s productivity for the glory of God. The communal ethic is not oriented towards dominion, but towards bare-minimum survival. Giving money away does not produce anything for the future: its whole function is to provide for immediate needs, for present consumption alone. This does not mean we shouldn’t give money away – we should. There are valid needs in the present. But God’s law is structured so that, usually, a good portion of income can go toward production. This is the only way to bring lasting, long-term benefit to all.”

Chilton’s comment on Sider’s handling of Scripture relating to economic matters still applies to many today. Jim Wallis anyone?

“In plain translation: where the Bible is specific on economic issues, it is not valid; where the Bible states a general principle that can be redefined in terms of “liberationist” specifics, it is valid. In Sider’s hands, the Bible becomes no more than a ventriloquist’s dummy. Or, to put it another way: “The hands are Esau’s hands, but the voice is the voice of Jacob.” Sider’s thesis feels biblical, on the surface: but the voice is the voice of Ron Sider.”