Jesus against Hillel on Usury

I would argue that the best summation of Christian ethics is found in the sermon on the plain in Luke 6:20–49. What I love about the sermon on the plain is just how radical it seems on the surface, it seems almost impossible; however, when you think about what it’s saying, and think about it deeply—it makes sense. Probably my favorite example of this is found in Luke 6:34–35 (NRSV):

If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

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Jesus against Hillel on Usury

A Terrible Sermon on Economics – Part 2

Continuing from the last post, dealing with Jeff Durbin’s terrible sermon on socialism, comes the worst offense, he says:

In first kings 21 you’re gonna see an example of a wicked king who wants to buy private property from a citizen. You know what the citizen tells him? No, and so then there’s a woman named Jezebel … who sees the king all distraught … He wants the guys property, they guy tells him No, he’s the government … But you know what she does? Jezebel actually forges something to have the State go against the guy, and they claimed and they found false witnesses to say that he actually blasphemed the king, and so then they kill him. They kill the guy, Jezebel has him murdered, so that the king can actually take his land.

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A Terrible Sermon on Economics – Part 2

A Terrible Sermon on Economics – Part 1

Whenever an American conservative Calvinist decides to preach on politics you can be sure you’re going to get as much shallow and cheap theology as you’ll get when listening to a liberal Episcopalian talking about homosexuality. Jeff Durbin, a few months ago, put out a sermon on the topic of “socialism” and “biblical economics.” Just as expected, it was full of misapplication of scriptures, full of shallow and fallacious theology and really beneath anyone who takes biblical theology seriously.

Most of his argument comes from the commandment not to steal. To make that argument apply to questions of Economic institutions or legal arrangements he tries to derive a defense of private property as foundational from scripture. After reading the story of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5 he says:

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A Terrible Sermon on Economics – Part 1

John Locke was wrong – Part 1

John Locke is probable the most important enlightenment thinker when it comes to modern Anglo-American Liberalism, which has come to dominate the world. The second book of his “treatises of government” is one of the seminal works of Liberalism, creating a philosophical framework on which both Democracy, Capitalism, and Liberalism have built upon. John Locke is, in my opinion, hugely mistaken when it comes to the nature of man and the nature of rights (especially property), this mistake shakes the entire foundation of John Locke’s Liberalism and I think it is unfortunate that modern ideology more or less takes John Locke’s political philosophy as axiomatic, despite it being extremely problematic when examined. Anyone interested in modern Liberal ideology should examine John Locke’s “two treatises of government,” since it is so important to the development of Liberal ideology. In this post, I’ll be critiquing what I find problematic in his political theory found in “Two Treatises of Government – Book 2”, specifically on the nature of man and rights.

To start with let’s take a look at his concept of a “state of Nature,” he says in Chapter 2:

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John Locke was wrong – Part 1

How to be an Anti Capitalist today

Earlier, on this blog I predicted that purely secular/liberal effects to overcome Capitalism are doomed from the start. I laud their efforts, and I think most of the Marxian critiques of Capitalism (as well as other critiques such as the Anarchist critique) are absolutely accurate. Recently the Erik Olin Wright wrote an article in the Jacobin magazine called “How to be an Anti-Capitalist Today” Where he outlined 4 approaches to be an anti-Capitalist. The first two are obvious, the revolutionary model of the Anarchists and Marxists, and the Social-Democratic Model, the problems with those models are obvious to anyone who has paid attention to the 20th century. Wright puts it quite succinctly in his article, first with the revolutionary model:

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How to be an Anti Capitalist today

Luke 6:34,35

One of the most fascinating passages in the Bible for me is the sermon on the Plain in Luke 6. This sermon is one of the most radical, and difficult sections of the New Testament when it comes to ethics. I specifically want to focus on verses 34 and 35. These 2 verses are within the section of the sermon that seems to make impossible demands, the 2 verses I’m looking at deal specifically with lending and borrowing. Very often these passages are read as just being about a condition of the heart or a general attitude. I think, however, that Jesus actually means what he says, I don’t think this is about a general condition of the heart or about an attitude. I think it’s about real social and economic relationships. Let’s take a look at the whole passage in question but focus in on verse 34 and 35.

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Luke 6:34,35