Brian McLaren, in chp. 29 of his Everything Must Change, argues we need to ask a new kind of question or a new set of questions if we are to work for a greater sense of equity as we seek to live out the kingdom vision of Jesus.
After quoting the customary names, including Jeffrey Sachs (The End of Poverty), McLaren makes this quote. Who said this? [Answer at bottom of this post.]
“What will posterity see as the chief Christian blind spot of the last quarter of the twentieth century? I suspect it will have something to do with the economic oppression of the Third World and the readiness with which western Christians tolerate it, and even acquiesce in it…. But must we not roundly declare that luxury and extravagance are indefensible evils, while much of the world is undernourished and underprivileged?”
McLaren’s encouraged by businesspeople, microenterprise projects, fair trade projects, campaign finance reform, ethical buying movement, the green movement and he points to two sources to think about:
Trade as one
Questions to ask: What benefits will come to the rich if the poor are better off? What dangers and negative consequences will follow for the rich if the poor are not better off?
In chp 30 McLaren charts the seven categories of development economics, and I can’t get into each without quickly getting over my head:
1. Trade — ajustments, free trade/fair trade, small business favors
2. Aid — wise aid
3. Debt — wisely
4. Limits — live within biological limits
5. Wages — international minimum wage
6. Justice — system
He appeals not to “organized religion” but to “organizing religion.”