Keeping a loose grip on private property

Eric Hilker

Cathy Smith
September 11, 2012

Thanks for this, Eric. Although it was an uncomfortable read for me, Walter Brueggemann's Journey to the Common Good was also helpful in pinpointing social and economic underpinnings in the Old Testament, designed by God for the good of all. I didn't agree with everything in the book, but there was undoubtedly more content in the OT than I had previously realized about provision for the poor.

Also, I love my house. I enjoy looking at "house porn" magazines although my home is considerably more modest than the featured mansions. Still, much of my self-worth is tied into being a homeowner, in caring for my property and enjoying it. As I see that it will become an increasingly challenging for the next generation to attain the same standard of living as I've enjoyed, I probably need to be made to feel a bit uncomfortable.

I've always wanted my children to have what I have, to enjoy some of the same security ... what will it mean for me if they can't achieve it in today's economic climate? It might be time for me to ponder seriously how much value and credit I give to home ownership. That kind of self-assessment is challenging. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

September 28, 2012

Gary North makes an interesting point in his economic commentary on the Bible: the rules about leaving grain for the poor to harvest had no specific penalties. In other words, it was a matter of conscience whether or not a landowner left grain/grapes/olives/orchard fruit/etc. for the poor to glean. That's very different from today's "Christian" governments which take money by force from one group of citizens and to give to another group.

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