The theology of enough

John Madeley, an economic journalist and former lay member of the General Synod of the Church of England, suggests in the Guardian group blog Comment is Free that the recession is a good time to think theologically about how much is enough:

Time to revisit John Taylor’s classic work Enough is Enough, and to look at recession from a wider perspective. In this book Taylor develops the theology of enough. The dream of the Biblical Hebrew people, he points out, is summed up in the word shalom, “something much broader than peace, the harmony of a caring community, informed at every point by its awareness of God”.

“At every point” is a key phrase. It speaks of a “wholeness that is complete because every aspect of life is included”, says Taylor. Economically and socially, the dream of shalom finds expression in the theology of enough, he adds: “There are many reference in the Old Testament to covetousness and greed … ordinary covetousness is simply a persistent longing for something that isn’t yours.”

In the New Testament, a word that is commonly translated as covetousness, pleonexia, means excess or wanting more and more, says Bishop Taylor. Mark’s gospel speaks of greed as an evil which makes a person unclean. In Colossians, Paul urges that greed be “put to death”. He warns in Ephesians that no greedy person “has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God”.

Read it all here.

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