Christians living in modern industrial or post-industrial societies live differently from almost all Christians over the previous millennia. Most Christians participate in the capitalistic, or market, economies in which they live. Churches often borrow business models in administering and marketing the church. Christian publishing houses, radio stations, and products are significant entities in the economy. Some Christians wonder whether the material success of modern Christians who live in the wealthy nations is something about which to be concerned. The concern over the condition of affluence that exists today also includes concern over the economic system that exists today—capitalism or market systems. This article examines the differences between the economic systems that prevailed in ancient Israel, including Palestine at the time of Christ, with modern market systems. It also discusses some of the traditional Christian views of wealth and poverty in light of the economic conditions that prevailed then as compared to today. It then looks at the problem of poverty, both global and within the wealthy nations. Finally, it considers ethics as well as greed and materialism.
Keywords: Christians; capitalism; market systems; Israel; wealth; poverty; ethics; greed; materialism; economic conditions
Article. 7823 words.
Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies
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