Debt, Interest And Usury

Usury is condemned at various points in the Bible and was opposed by Christians for most of their history. The term “usury” traditionally means lending money at interest, although some now apply it only to lending at excessive rates of interest. Our economy today relies on debt and on the charging of interest.

Some questions:

  1. Is traditional Christian teaching on usury still relevant (and why or why not)?
  2. Is all lending at interest wrong or only at excessive rates? And how do we determine what is excessive?
  3. Is high-cost lending a problem in itself or a symptom of something wider? How does it relate to the banking system?

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