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There Were No Needy Persons Among Them

by Shane Claiborne There is no place where it is more clear that economic sharing was a core practice for Christians than in the life of the early Church; this little community that Jesus has formed to continue to live into that ancient hope that the people of God could show the world what a society of love looks like. In the book of Acts, the Scripture says this: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as they had need…All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions were their own, but they shared everything they had… There were no needy persons among them. “ (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-34) All the believers were together and shared everything in common. They put their offerings at the feet of the apostles to meet needs. At one point the text even says that there were no needy persons among them. One of the signs of the birthday of the early church at Pentecost was this – they ended poverty. How unbelievable is that! What they had to figure out early on was the best way to care for their most vulnerable members, “the widows and the orphans” (Acts 6). Amid all our bureaucracies...

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Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Book Review

by Steven Cottam     I often struggle with being an organized and efficient person, and so I am constantly reading books on how to get myself organized. My accumulated knowledge on this subject, from a vast library of organizational books, has taught me that the key to success in any project is knowing the why and how behind it: what is the goal for which you are working so hard, and what are the steps you are going to take to actually accomplish your endeavor. It is the particular gift of Ronald J. Sider to be able to balance, and balance well, these two different aspects of our thinking that makes his new book on the economy, Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Balanced Way to Balance the Budget a worthy read. In his work, Sider seeks to find a moral way, as judged by the standard of Christian ethics concerned with justice and care for the poor, to fix our budget crisis. In so doing, Sider is able to write in a way that brings to light both the destination he seeks to reach while being very clear on the steps of the journey. He has a vision for what our national economy should look like, and he is methodical in enunciating the way he wants to take...

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