Economic passages in the Bible are open to widely varying interpretations. One of the big issues concerns charity and justice. A lot of biblical passages suggest that Christians should be generous with their money, particularly towards the poor. However, others seem to go further, speaking of a time when wealth will be equalised or shared, or when the rich and poor shall change places.
In practical terms, this tension appears when it comes to considering the role of churches and Christians today. Should we prioritise people’s needs, focusing on their humanity rather than on bigger systems? Or should we campaign for political and economic change to tackle the causes of poverty? Or can we combine the two? Or help people in a way that models a different way of doing things? These questions are all the more urgent as poverty increases in the UK.